73 injured at city education sites in a year

Police outside Liberton High School following the death of Keane Wallis-Bennett. Picture: John Devlin
Police outside Liberton High School following the death of Keane Wallis-Bennett. Picture: John Devlin
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MORE than 70 reports regarding injuries at schools and other educational establishments were reported to safety investigators last year, according to figures obtained by the Evening News.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) received 73 reports largely about children hurt or injured in schools across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The figures can be revealed as a joint HSE and Police Scotland probe into the death of tragic Keane Wallis-Bennett continues.

The 12-year-old was killed when a “wobbly” wall fell over and landed on her at Liberton High.

Lindsay Law, who represents parents on Edinburgh City Council’s education committee, expressed concern at the large number.

She said: “I would like the council to review and understand exactly what the underlying issues were. I’d want them to look at those reportable incidents and check they weren’t caused by safety issues at those schools.”

The HSE received reports of 38 incidents at education establishments in the Edinburgh City Council area in 2012-13, with around 29 estimated to involve injuries at nurseries and schools.

HSE chiefs said the reports – which ranged from playground broken bones to accidents caused by the fabric of buildings – mainly involved pupils, although non-working members of the public were also included.

As well as the Edinburgh cases, 35 reports were filed following accidents at schools and learning facilities in the Lothians.

Ms Law said parents were particularly concerned about risks and disruption caused by building and maintenance work at schools.

“There was an incident at Broughton Primary recently where a chisel fell from scaffolding into the playground,” she said. “But when contacted by parents, the council said, ‘why are you contacting us?’. They seemed to think it was the headteacher’s responsibility.”

Education chiefs said they would work “tirelessly” to ensure the safety of all education establishments across the Capital.

Across Scotland around 1000 incidents were reported to the HSE.