Reassurances over Midlothian school building safety

Repair work is carried out to Oxgangs Primary in Edinburgh where 17 schools have been closed.
Repair work is carried out to Oxgangs Primary in Edinburgh where 17 schools have been closed.

Midlothian Council has moved to reassure the local community that inspections are carried out on all local schools on an ongoing basis.

A full survey of the school estate was completed following the fatal incident at Liberton High School in Edinburgh.

A spokesman added: “No structural issues were identified. We have had two independent condition surveys carried out at our PPP1 schools (Dalkeith Schools Community Campus) in the last three years and annual independent condition surveys are carried out at our PPP2 schools (eight primary schools).”

The property update was given after Edinburgh City Council closed 17 schools due to safety fears.

The spokesman continued: “We confirm that none of our school buildings were built by the same contractor responsible for the Edinburgh PPI schools in question and we would like to take the opportunity to stress our continued commitment to ensuring the safety of everyone using school buildings in Midlothian.”

She added the council and PPP Facilities Management staff have an ongoing monitoring regime to identify and addressed any defects. This includes monthly meetings with senior school staff and PPP contractors.

“Further inspections of our own estate also started in March 2016, in response to the situation in Edinburgh, and were due to finish on Tuesday, April 12. A formal process is in place which allows immediate repairs to a school building, including isolating the area if there are health and safety concerns,” she said.

Council leader Cath Johnstone (SNP) said she has requested further clarity from council officials over the Edinburgh closures and any possible impact on Midlothian.

“In March I requested that officials confirm to me that schools in Midlothian are safe and that the issues found in Edinburgh, with schools built under similar funding schemes, are not apparent here and analysis of any knock on effects is underway.”