Closed schools open ahead of schedule
All 17 closed schools have reopened ahead of schedule with the final two handed back to the City of Edinburgh Council today (Thursday 11 August).
Remedial works on Drummond Community High and The Royal High have been completed by the Edinburgh Schools Partnership which means all pupils will be back in their own schools as normal for the start of the new session next Wednesday (17 August).
In total 17 schools were closed with 7,600 pupils affected as the Council put in place a huge logistical plan to provide alternative arrangements. More than 5,000 children were educated at over 70 different schools and education facilities during the three months up to the start of the summer holidays.
Council Leader Andrew Burns said: “I’m delighted that all of our pupils affected by the closures will be back in their own schools next week as we promised parents we would try to achieve this. We stressed to the Edinburgh Schools Partnership that they should bring forward school reopening dates where possible which has happened.
“Our priority has always been the safety of our pupils and staff and we insisted that ESP and their contractors ensure all our schools are 100% safe to reopen. All the relevant paperwork has been published on our website having been reviewed by an independent expert on behalf of the Council.
“I want again to thank parents and pupils for their patience and understanding and teaching staff for their commitment and flexibility during these difficult past few months.
“The next steps now are to establish exactly what went wrong with these schools. The Council has appointed respected construction and procurement industry expert John Cole CBE to lead an independent inquiry.
“Clear and thorough terms of reference set out exactly what we are aiming to achieve through this inquiry. We want to find out what went wrong and are determined to see what lessons can be learned, not just here in Edinburgh but across Scotland and the UK.”
Correspondence from ESP and their contractors providing safety assurances has been regularly published on the Council website as each school reopened.
The independent inquiry has already started and is expected to finish before the end of the year.