Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Youngsters return to safety probe schools in Edinburgh

Oxgangs Primary School
Image caption Part of the wall at Oxgangs Primary was blown down

Youngsters at three schools closed over safety fears in Edinburgh have returned to their own classrooms.

Oxgangs Primary, St Peter's Primary and the Braidburn School are the first of 17 schools to open their doors again following remedial works.

Five other schools are due to open again in June.

The remaining nine schools affected are on course to reopen for the start of the new school year in August, according to the council.

About 7,600 primary and secondary school children in the capital were affected when the schools, which were all built or refurbished as part of the same public private partnership (PPP) scheme, were closed suddenly in April.

Image caption St Peter's Primary School is one of the three schools that has reopened

Problems first became apparent when part of a wall at Oxgangs Primary collapsed during stormy weather in January.

Construction faults led to safety inspections being ordered at all schools built under the private finance initiative.

City of Edinburgh Council decided to shut all 17 schools after Edinburgh Schools Partnership was unable to provide safety assurances for the properties.

Since then, thousands of youngsters have been bussed to schools across the city for lessons, although they have been taught by their regular teachers.

The local authority has already confirmed an independent inquiry into the school closures will be held after the summer holiday.

The EIS teaching union has called on the Scottish government to renegotiate public private contracts used in building schools.

Its general secretary Larry Flannigan questioned the national value of these projects.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites