DISGUSTED parents have blasted local authority health chiefs over a persistent rat problem at a Capital school.
Pest control workers have visited Victoria Primary on a number of occasions after being alerted to the vermin “running wild” in the grounds.
However, a video posted on social media shows the creature scuttling out from underneath a number of children’s scooters before shooting across the playground and disappearing behind a bin as parents arrived to drop off their youngsters on Wednesday morning.
Council officials admitted they had been aware of the problem for some time and were taking appropriate measures to rectify the issue.
But parents were angered it had taken several complaints for environmental health workers to take notice, adding they had reported the presence of rats in the school as far back as December.
One parent told the Evening News teachers had been forced to tell younger pupils they were “big mice” to calm them down after students became scared of playing outside during break times.
Another added: “This is an ongoing issue blamed on surrounding building work but nothing has been done and with work in the area not stopping soon, the children and the school should not have to put up with this indefinitely.”
Recent figures released by City of Edinburgh Council under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation found the Forth ward - where the school is based - was the Capital’s pest control hotspot during 2018, with workers responding to more than 550 calls last year alone - more than anywhere else in the city.
One mum-of-two, who asked not to be named, said: “This problem goes back to at least December last year when we first complained there had been rats seen in the playground. We’re now nearing the end of March and it still has not been sorted, that is simply not good enough.”
“The video I have seen clearly shows a rat running away from a part of the playground where the kids drop their scooters and where they often eat their packed lunches. The council have a duty of care to sort this so that children are not sharing their space with vermin.”
She continued: “I know the teachers and school staff have wanted to properly tackle this problem since it was first raised, and hopefully this video will put pressure on the council to sort this out once and for all.”
A spokesman for the local authority told the Evening News: “The school are fully aware of the issue which relates to rats coming into the playground and are liaising with the Council’s pest control team for advice and support.”
He added: “Their staff has been visiting the school and have put in place measures to control the problem.”