Council criticises Oxgangs Primary School building works


The consortium in charge of looking after 17 schools in Edinburgh has been severely criticised by the city council for failing to carry out repair work.

A pupil was hit by a tile that fell from the ceiling of Oxgangs Primary in February and the roof was damaged by wind in March.

The council said it had been told by Edinburgh Schools Partnership the building had since been made safe.

But inspections showed that this was not the case.

The council said it was now having to carry out its own urgent repairs on the roof and in suspended ceilings at the school.

Two years ago, nine tonnes of masonry fell from a wall at the school - prompting a Scotland-wide review of building projects.

The incidents earlier this year involved loose flashing on the roof and internal ceiling tiles, which led to the council carrying out checks on the school.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Concerns were first raised when a wall collapsed at Oxgangs Primary School in January 2016

A statement released by the council said: "Despite confirmation from ESP that the issues identified had been made safe, the results of the proactive inspections by the council showed further issues that were not addressed."

These included more loose flashing across the roof and issues with suspended ceilings involving support wires, incorrectly fitted light fittings and tiles.

The statement added: "Any urgent issues needing addressed were made safe during the inspections last month.

"A further scheduled full independent condition survey of the school commissioned by the council is taking place next week."

As a precaution, the council has commissioned similar suspended ceiling and roof checks to be carried out on the other 16 schools that are managed by ESP under a PPP contract.

'Extremely concerned'

The council's chief executive, Andrew Kerr, said he understood parents would be concerned at the latest developments, but assured them that action was being taken to fix the issues.

He added: "We have always stated that the health and safety of our pupils and staff is paramount which is why we are making sure these issues are remedied immediately and as a precaution, we will be carrying out similar checks on the other 16 schools in the PPP1 project.

"We are extremely concerned at these latest construction defects at Oxgangs Primary School following the wall collapse two years ago and the Edinburgh Schools Partnership have to be held accountable.

"It was our own proactive inspections that identified these latest issues and we will be seeking answers from ESP as they have once again let down the parents and the council over the condition of the school."

The Scottish government's local government minister, Kevin Stewart, said he was seeking assurances from the council that the repair work would be finished before pupils returned after the Easter holiday.

An Edinburgh Schools Partnership spokesman said: "We are aware of the statement issued by the City of Edinburgh this morning and we are currently reviewing all issues regarding ongoing work at Oxgangs Primary School. We will be releasing more information once this review has been complete."

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