Pledge made after failure to complete works at Liberton High School
An action plan will be drawn up after proposed works to a high school where a pupil was killed four years ago by a falling wall were not carried out over the summer break.
Staff and parents at Liberton High School were told that work would be completed before the new term – but delays at Liberton and other schools across the Capital means no work as part of funding agreed in March has been started across the city.
In April 2014, 12-year-old Keane Wallis-Bennett was killed when a wall collapsed on top of her at Liberton High School. Parents say they were given assurances by the council that the school would be rebuilt – but earlier this year accused the authority of a “sticking plaster approach”. Conservative Councillor Stephanie Smith said: “It is unacceptable and disappointing that schools across the city have suffered delays in the necessary repair and maintenance works which were scheduled to begin in the summer break.
“The programme of works must move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible with no further delays and the affected schools and local councillors must be kept updated on this progress as we move through the schedule.”
Cllr Smith also called for an “action plan and strategic timetable” to be drawn up for work at Liberton High School in order to reassure parents and staff that improvements will be completed.
She said: “Before the summer holidays, at Liberton High School Parent Council, we were advised by officers that plans were to be put in place for a schedule of necessary repair works to be agreed with the school to take place over the summer holidays.”
She added: “Pupils and teachers arrived back at the school after the summer break and to their dismay the promised works had not been completed. There appears to have been a complete lack of communication as to there being a delay, why there was a delay and when those works are actually now to be completed.
“This is simply not good enough. Our children deserve to feel safe and comfortable in their school surroundings and they are being failed on this at Liberton High School at this moment in time.”
Education, Families and Children Convener, Cllr Ian Perry will meet with the school’s head teacher and chair of the parent council to discuss the repair work and reassured councillors that all schools are safe.
He said: “I have been reassured that it is safe and one of the reasons that the work was delayed was to ensure the safety. No child in this authority will go into a school which is unsafe.”