Fury as pupils face ‘building site’ on first day at school

Trinity Primary School

Trinity Primary School

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PARENTS have been left furious after pupils turned up to their first day of school to find a “building site”.

The essential repairs are only now being carried out at Trinity Primary despite the fact they had been planned for the summer break.

The city council has blamed unforeseen delays including bad weather for setting back the work to the school’s roof, windows, stairwells, and doors.

But Paul Jeffrey, chairman of the school’s parent council, said: “They’ve had all summer to do this, then they wait until the first week the kids are back to start.

“It’s incredibly frustrating. We already have a really full school and the staff have not been supported.”

Labour’s Forth councillor Cammy Day added: “It’s still a building site.

“It’s not what you want children’s first experience of school to be, and there’s always a risk that they’ll see the work going on and want to be near it, especially when it’s by the play area.”

Mr Jeffrey said that resources at the school were so stretched that a cloakroom also had to be converted to create more space, while new pupils were being taught in what is supposed to be the school’s library.

The parent council says this proves that Trinity should never have taken on pupils from other schools in the area, such as the axed Fort Primary.

Campaigners are also worried that the numbers will only go up in future years due to the school’s popular location and good reputation.

Lothian birth rates from five years ago are higher than they were 12 years ago, meaning statistically more youngsters will be at the age of starting primary school than leaving.

But the council said there was nothing unusual about moving around space, and that the current works should be finished soon.

A total of 66 new children arrived at the school this week, with the huge number put down to the school’s increased catchment area.

The council said more use would be made of library space, while the converted cloakroom, which is understood to be around the size of an average classroom, will be set aside for general use.

A council spokesman said work would be completed shortly.

He added: “Unfortunately there have been some delays with improvement works and this has been compounded by the recent heavy rain.”

In April, it was revealed that Trinity would be one of several schools where “team teaching” would be used.

That is a method where teachers use the same classroom to teach two, usually large, separate classes.

amorris@edinburghnews.com