Safety of school buildings to be explored

12.05.2017

The safety of the school estate in Scotland is to be explored by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee.

The Committee will undertake a short inquiry which will examine the safety of school buildings following the closure of a number of schools across Edinburgh as a result of building defects.

An independent inquiry into the closures highlighted a lack of proper scrutiny of the construction work of the school buildings affected. The Committee will explore how education authorities across Scotland can assure parents and young people that their buildings are safe following the findings of the report and the closures in Edinburgh last year.  The Committee will also focus on what lessons can be learnt in the management of future school building projects.

Committee Convener, James Dornan MSP said:

“It is unimaginable that the places where our children learn may not be safe so there can be few of us that weren’t shocked to hear of the defects in school campuses.

“There have clearly been some high profile cases but our work will explore what the picture is across Scotland and, more importantly, what lessons can be learned to ensure this will never happen again and Scotland’s schools are well-built and safe places to learn.”

The Committee is expected to hear from a range of witnesses including representatives from the construction industry, local authorities and the Scottish Government.

Background

The School Closures Report was commissioned by the City of Edinburgh Council in 2016 following the collapse of a wall at Oxgangs Primary School and subsequent closure of 17 schools.

The Committee will first consider the issue at its meeting on Wednesday 14 June 2017.

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