Closure-hit schools reopen earlier than expected

The crisis was sparked by a wall collapse at Oxgangs Primary. Picture: Toby Williams

The crisis was sparked by a wall collapse at Oxgangs Primary. Picture: Toby Williams

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ONE thousand pupils are returning to school earlier than planned after the latest programme of remedial works was submitted to the city council by Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP).

The announcement today revealed that four primary schools - Pirniehall, St David’s, Broomhouse and St Joseph’s - will now open ahead of schedule on Monday 20 June.

Pupils from Rowanfield School will also return earlier than planned on Monday, June 27.

This follows the 900 pupils from Oxgangs and St Peter’s Primary Schools and Braidburn School who returned to their own schools last month, followed by Firrhill High School, which completely reopened on schedule last week.

It means a total of 4600 pupils will have returned to their own schools before the end of the summer term.

The remaining primaries – Craigour Park, Forthview, Craigroyston and Castleview – will all be handed back during the summer break, as will Craigmount, Gracemount, Drummond and Royal high schools. Where there are opportunities for earlier reopening, parents will be advised.

The latest development also means that all 17 schools affected by the Capital’s PPP closure crisis will welcome back their pupils for the start of the new term on August 17. New dates for the individual schools are on the city council’s website.

Council leader Andrew Burns said: “We have continued to press the Edinburgh Schools Partnership to bring forward school reopening dates where possible so I’m pleased that we now have 1000 pupils returning earlier than planned.

“Our priority has always been the safety of our pupils and staff and we have insisted that Edinburgh Schools Partnership and their contractors ensure that our schools are 100 per cent safe to reopen.

“As with the schools that reopened last month, all of the relevant paperwork will be published on our website having been reviewed by an independent expert on behalf of the Council.

“I want again to thank parents for their patience and understanding and teaching staff for their commitment and flexibility during this difficult time.”

Correspondence from ESP and their contractors providing safety assurances will be published on the council website before each school reopens.

City leaders have confirmed that an independent inquiry into the school closures will commence after the summer holidays.