Pupils and staff at Brunstane primary to be relocated 'as precaution' after hole appeared in playground
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Pupils and teaching staff from Brunstane Primary School will be relocated to other local schools, after a hole appeared in the playground.
The council said the ‘highly unusual' decision was taken as a precaution ahead of the start of the new term.
Pupils and teaching staff will be moved to other schools in the area for the start of the new term on Wednesday August 16. The nursery is also affected with plans in place for children to attend Moffat Early Years Campus.
Magdalene Community Centre is also on the site and alternative venues are being considered for the community groups who use that building.
It comes after investigations relating to planned energy retrofit works at the school revealed issues with the ground conditions including a hole in an area of the playground next to the main school building.
The site of the school contains historic coal mine workings and the Council is working closely with the Coal Authority to establish the exact cause and extent of the issue. An action plan will be drawn up to decide what remedial work is needed so the school can reopen as soon as possible.
Education, Children and Families Convener, Cllr Joan Griffiths, said:
“This is highly unusual but I know parents/carers and the local community will fully understand why we had to take this decision to close the school as a precaution which hasn’t been taken lightly.
“The expert advice we have received from independent engineers is that the site should remain closed until further investigative work has identified the exact nature of the problem. We’ll be working closely with the Coal Authority to establish what has caused this and what the next steps are so we can reopen the site.
“I know this news will be disappointing for everyone affected by the closures however it is the most sensible solution given what has happened. Our education officers are working closely with the school and other Council teams to identify suitable schools so learning and teaching can continue for our young people.
“We have already identified Moffat Early Years Campus for the nursery pupils and are looking at other venues for the groups that use Magdalene Community Centre. We will keep parents/carers updated as our plans develop and will do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum.”
The school will be in direct contact with parents regarding updates and the Council’s emergency school closures web page will be kept updated.
Megan Phillips, of the Coal Authority’s public safety team, said: “On Tuesday 25 July we were made aware of a small ground collapse at Brunstane Primary School in Edinburgh.
“Working closely with The City of Edinburgh Council, we quickly filled the hole with stone to stabilise the affected area and fenced off the site to keep people safe.
“We will now carry out detailed investigations to determine the cause of the ground collapse. If this incident was caused by historical coal mine workings, we will design a permanent solution and carry out repair works as soon as we can.
“To report a coal mine hazard, please call us on 0800 288 4242, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”