Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Some Edinburgh schools could stay closed until August

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

A number of the 17 Edinburgh schools closed on safety grounds are unlikely to reopen until the new school year in August, BBC Scotland has learned.

It is understood that, following surveys, a draft timetable for repairs could see some pupils returning to their own schools next month.

However, that depends on assurances from an independent surveyor.

The schools were all built or modernised under the controversial Public Private Partnership scheme.

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

Construction work on many of the schools, which were built just over a decade ago, was carried out by Miller Construction.

The school were closed earlier this month over safety fears when a wall collapsed at one school and other were found to be missing vital wall ties.

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.

Last Friday's deadline for receiving survey results from the specially-formed private company, Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP), was missed.

It is understood the City of Edinburgh Council has now been handed a draft outline of the remedial work needed at the 17 schools.

However, a timetable will need to be agreed with ESP that allows an independent expert to assess the repairs.

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

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