Structural problems force partial closure of Scottish school

Balfron High School, Stirling, where problems with the stairwell and atrium have been discovered. Picture: Emma Mitchell
Balfron High School, Stirling, where problems with the stairwell and atrium have been discovered. Picture: Emma Mitchell
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A high school is to partially close because of structural problems.

Balfron High School in Stirlingshire will be partially shut until Friday when arrangements will be made to teach pupils elsewhere.

Part of the building will remain open to allow senior pupils to sit scheduled exams.

The school was built under a private finance initiative (PFI) about 15 years ago.

It was not built by the firm that has been involved with recent problems with Edinburgh schools.

Stirling Council said precautionary checks uncovered problems with the stairwell and the school gym, which would have been “expected to arise in a building that is now 15 years old”.

But further investigations discovered another issue with the wall of the stairwell and problems in the atrium, all of which require repairs.

The council said: “Work is progressing at Balfron High School to organise a repair programme for areas of the school that were identified with issues during precautionary building checks.

“Senior pupils due to sit their SQA exams remain our priority and these will continue to run in areas of the school that are unaffected. We are currently planning alternative provision for pupils in S1-3 from this Friday, May 13.

“This will initially be off campus and we are working closely with senior colleagues in other schools to identify the best location to meet the needs of our young people.

“This will be a temporary arrangement as we are also developing plans for alternative on-site provision at 
Balfron.

“A further update will be provided once more information is available.

“Every effort is being made to minimise disruption and ensure the best possible provision for all our pupils.”

The closure follows 17 schools across Edinburgh being shut due to fears over structural faults.

The schools closed in April and some are expected to reopen towards the end of May, when declared safe, while others will not fully reopen until after the summer holidays.