Parents demand answers over school wall collapse

The collapsed wall at Wardie Primary. Picture: contributed
The collapsed wall at Wardie Primary. Picture: contributed
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FURIOUS parents are demanding answers after a heavy wall collapsed at an Edinburgh primary school.

The fall of the boundary wall at Wardie Primary pre-dates the Liberton High tragedy, which resulted in the death of Keane Wallis-Bennett, 12.

It has still not been fixed four months on and is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to safety fears, irate parents said.

One added: “The council really don’t have a clue when it comes to managing their ­buildings.”

The boundary wall, at the southern gate of the school, fell down in December after tree roots made it unstable.

And while no children were hurt in the incident, parents say they have felt “ignored” when trying to alert the council to several dangerous issues with the building, including leaking roofs, un-pointed walls, rusting, and loose coping stones.

Concerned parent David Jamieson has two children at the school and said the boundary wall is in “a very poor condition”.

He added: “We have known for years that nothing gets fixed with the building and they have a system where they rely on the teachers to tell them when something’s wrong.”

Mr Jamieson said the council had sent officers out to identify “the bits that are immediately dangerous” and had agreed to fix them after pleas from Forth Ward Conservative councillor, Allan Jackson, and the Parent Council.

“They have not got a system in place that’s functioning at all,” Mr Jamieson added.

“I think there needs to be a complete review about the way our school estate has been managed. It’s not been done at all properly.”

The Parent Council is also currently opposing plans for a £800,000 nursery on the site which councillors are expected to approve on Thursday.

Mr Jamieson continued: “We are told there’s not enough money – that makes parents concerned because we have got this new nursery and a lot of doubt if there’s a need for the building. The city council needs to prioritise where it’s spending its money.”

Speaking about the wall, Cllr Jackson said: “It’s a concern – the whole thing’s fallen down and it’s lying there. The thing needs to be rebuilt but still it’s like it’s been ignored which I’m a bit distressed about.”

The councillor, who has been checking the temporary barrier around the wall stays in place, said he was “glad to see now the council seem to be coming up with a programme of works” to tackle the problem.

City Chambers confirmed a range of works is planned in the near future. A spokesman said: “We fully understand the concerns of parents of pupils. The precautionary measure of cordoning off the area will be maintained until works are completed.”

Keane died on April 1 after a modesty wall toppled on to her at Liberton High. A probe is under way.