Leader: ‘Failing our children is not an option’

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THERE are few things more important than the education of our youngest citizens.

The state of Edinburgh’s schools both in deteriorating condition and size has left some woefully unfit for purpose. The issue is well known and has filled several columns of this newspaper for years. The solution remains the same: investment.

The tragedy at Liberton High which led to the death of Keane Wallis-Bennett served to bring what had become a critical problem into sharp focus.

Today we learn that four more schools have been shortlisted to be rebuilt or significantly revamped in the next stage of the programme.

Liberton is one, along with Wester Hailes Education Centre, Trinity and Balerno.

The problems at Liberton are well-documented. Trinity is in the worst state of all. The WHEC had had been slated for closure before a remarkable turnaround thanks to a dedicated teaching staff saw a huge imporvement in exam results.

They are big schools and the work could come with a massive price tag of up to £100 million.

What will be built, how and when is still very much to be determined.

There will no doubt be years of consultations, arguing, and rows over funding to come before we see any sign of diggers moving in.

But it is so important that the council gets this right.

The teachers, as in the case of WHEC, are doing their bit.

Now we need to provide them with the best possible environment for learning and ensure that every child in the city is given the tools to reach their full potential.

Let’s hope for quick decisions and Scottish Government support as the council moves forward with its Wave Four school programme, as there really is no other option.

After all a city which fails its children, is failing its future.