Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh school closures: Council will sign off on school repairs

Workers on site at one of the closed schools Image copyright PA

Independent experts appointed by the council will check schools in Edinburgh are safe to reopen in a major departure from the previous system, which saw builders approve their own work.

The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 stopped the need for a council completion certificate to be issued.

However, the council wants the final say on whether pupils can return to all 17 schools closed over safety fears.

The council is to have a "clearer picture" from surveys on Friday.

Why are Edinburgh schools closed?

Seventeen schools built or modernised just over a decade ago under the controversial Public Private Partnership arrangement scheme were shut earlier this month over safety concerns.

The council had entered into a deal to build the schools with the specially-formed private company, the Edinburgh Schools Partnership, and construction work was carried out by Miller Construction.

Under the deal, the profit-making company built the schools, runs the buildings and maintains them. The council is, in effect, a tenant.

Children at all 17 schools are now back in classrooms but finding alternative accommodation has been a major logistical operation and some youngsters face lengthy journeys to temporary sites.

Some form of investigation or inquiry into the debacle is expected to be launched after the Scottish election.

School closures

Emergency work carried out at schools

17

Schools closed over safety fears

  • 7,600 Primary and secondary pupils affected by the closures

  • 61 Alternative schools are being used

  • 655 Teachers relocated

  • 70 Bus services laid on to transport pupils

Scott Arthur

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesman said: "The council will appoint independent experts to give us the necessary reassurance that work carried out by the Edinburgh Schools Partnership and its contractors is of the required standard to ensure the safety of children."

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