Updates on school closure contingency plans

The Council has drawn up contingency plans to ensure all primary and special school pupils will be back in alternative schools by Tuesday of next week (Monday is the Spring Public Holiday).

In some cases alternative arrangements could be in place by Wednesday. This is subject to the Council being able to access to the closed schools whilst the surveys are ongoing.

Significant work has also gone on today (Monday 11 April) to ensure the 2,000 S4, S5 and S6 pupils affected by recent school closures will be accommodated in high schools in Edinburgh. This will ensure they are fully supported in readiness for their exams.

S4, S5 and S6 pupils from Firrhill, Drummond and Royal High Schools will be able to return to their own schools on Wednesday. These three schools only had partial refurbishments as part of the PPP1 project.

An update for S4, S5 and S6 pupils at Gracemount and Craigmount High schools will be made tomorrow once arrangements are finalised.

For all S1 to S3 pupils in the five high schools work continues to identify alternative arrangements.

The Council is contacting parents directly and full details of the arrangements once they are finalised will be on the Council website.

Additional offers of support with accommodating pupils have come in from Edinburgh University, the Scottish Parliament, NHS Lothian, community groups and venues and private sector companies.

A programme of structural surveys arranged by Edinburgh Schools Partnership are continuing this week, with updated information being confirmed as early as possible in respect of each school.

Chief Executive Andrew Kerr said: “We have plans in place to ensure all primary and special school pupils will be back in schools by next week subject to the Council getting access to the closed schools.

“Our focus is very much on getting our school children back into education as soon as possible. That remains our priority, particularly for those pupils preparing to sit their exams in May.

“Edinburgh Schools Partnership are continuing with their programme of inspections which began on Friday, and have committed to providing new information as and when it becomes available.

“I fully recognise the significant inconvenience to parents caused by these closures and I want to thank them for their patience as we continue to work through this issue. I can assure them that as soon as we have new information, we will pass it on. Daily updates will also be available via the council website.

“I also want to pay tribute to the response from a number of city organisations, both public and private sector, who have come forward with offers of help. There’s been a real sense of the Edinburgh community pulling together and we are very grateful for that.”

Early indications are that the issue that prompted the decision on Friday has been identified in other buildings but as yet we are not able to determine the full extent of this or the potential impact it may have.

The Council will update parents via the www.edinburgh.gov.uk/schoolclosures and via the Council Twitter @Edinburgh_CC on a daily basis.

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