Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh school closures: Final two schools reopen

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

All 17 schools in Edinburgh that were closed earlier this year due to safety fears have reopened ahead of schedule.

City of Edinburgh Council said all pupils be back at their own schools next week when pupils return after their summer holiday.

The final two, Drummond Community High and The Royal High, were handed back to the council following remedial works.

About 7,600 children in the capital were affected when the schools were closed suddenly in April.

All the schools were built or refurbished as part of the same public-private partnership scheme.

The council took the decision to shut them after Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP) said it was unable to provide safety assurances for the properties.

Image caption The problems were first uncovered after a wall collapsed at Oxgangs Primary during high winds in January

Andrew Burns, City of Edinburgh Council leader, said: "I'm delighted that all of our pupils affected by the closures will be back in their own schools next week as we promised parents we would try to achieve this.

"We stressed to the Edinburgh Schools Partnership that they should bring forward school reopening dates where possible, which has happened.

"Our priority has always been the safety of our pupils and staff, and we insisted that ESP and their contractors ensure all our schools are 100% safe to reopen.

"All the relevant paperwork has been published on our website having been reviewed by an independent expert on behalf of the council.

"I want again to thank parents and pupils for their patience and understanding, and teaching staff for their commitment and flexibility during these difficult past few months."

An independent inquiry into the closures headed by construction and procurement industry expert John Cole is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Mr Burns added: "Clear and thorough terms of reference set out exactly what we are aiming to achieve through this inquiry.

"We want to find out what went wrong and are determined to see what lessons can be learned, not just here in Edinburgh but across Scotland and the UK."

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