Crumbling Oxgangs Primary School set for independent review

Crumbling Oxgangs ­Primary School will be the ­subject of an independent inspection following building safety concerns sparked by a wind-damaged roof.

Saturday, 17th March 2018, 6:00 am
Oxgangs Primary School,Picture: Stewart Attwood

Staff and pupils were ordered to stay indoors for the day as roof flashings blew loose in the strong winds. It came just weeks after ceiling tiles collapsed.

The council have ordered a full tactile survey of the roof – and the entire school – by independent building surveyors, who will video the inspection and provide a written report. A full health and safety audit is also being undertaken.

Local Green councillor for Craiglockhart, Gavin Corbett, said: “I really feel for the school community as Oxgangs is a fantastic school which has been overshadowed by a series of building issues ever since the potentially life-threatening collapse of a wall over two years ago.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“That’s why I support a top to bottom and independent survey of the school building as a matter of urgency.

“I understand that a health and safety assessment of the school is happened yesterday and that independent surveyors are being appointed to do a detailed survey of the school in a very short timescale.

“Given recent history, families and staff need that confidence.”

Oxgangs councillor Jason Rust said the school, which caters for about 400 pupils, should provide a safe and stimulating educational environment but instead the focus has become on the building.

He said: “Only yesterday the council was saying the previous report was the full and final statement, and so I am pleased that they have at last listened to what the school community has been saying.

“It is vital that a full survey of the roof and condition survey is undertaken as well as the Health and Safety audit. I would hope that these can be under way as soon as possible.

“The inspections need to be done properly, but to a thorough timescale.

“It is vital that the surveys undertaken are intrusive and that we are advised of the scope of this and that any survey reports and related information are promptly published and publicly available.

“There is clearly a lot of anger and distrust in the parent community and I have made clear that there needs to be total transparency from the council for everyone to be properly reassured. I also strongly believe that all relevant documents need to be made available once complete.”

A council spokesman said: “The health and safety of our pupils and staff is paramount which is why we have commissioned further independent checks over the coming days.

“This is a precautionary measure as our PPP provider has assured us that the building is safe and the school opened today as normal.”