Concern over closure of library and ICT suite at Edinburgh school

A CITY primary school has been forced to close its library and ICT suite to make room for pupils displaced by the removal of dilapidated temporary units.
Parents are concerned about their children's education being affectedParents are concerned about their children's education being affected
Parents are concerned about their children's education being affected

The changes were made over the summer holidays at Sciennes Primary.One source close to the school said: “These are drastic measures, which can only damage children’s education.“Until now the library had been the pride of the school, and the ICT suite, with new equipment, had been a valuable resource for all. The computers have now been dispersed throughout the school so teachers cannot now teach a whole class using desktop computers.“Is it right that with the considerable wealth of our capital city, when money is found for vanity projects of all kinds, a school full to bursting cannot be provided with some new cabins or even a purpose-built extension?”Green education spokesman and ward councillor Steve Burgess said parents had contacted him, extremely concerned about the loss of the library and ICT classroom.“And they are right to be concerned,” he said. “With no dedicated library or place where ICT can be taught as a class, this is clearly a diminished provision in terms of developing children’s literacy and digital skills.“There’s also concern that the two new general classrooms created are not adequate because of cramped conditions and poor natural lighting.“Whilst I appreciate the challenge of constrained space and large numbers at Sciennes, proposals for re-establishing high quality library and ICT facilities need to be brought forward on an urgent basis.”Education convener Ian Perry said £1m of improvement works were being carried out at the school and the old temporary unit classrooms were no longer fit for purpose. He said library materials were being relocated to other areas of the school and additional i-pads were being provided for pupils. “We fully understand any parental concerns but want to reassure them the interim plans will ensure that the high-quality teaching and learning at the school continues. As part of developing a long term permanent solution we have set up a working group, including parents, to consider future accommodation options.”