School closures: Edinburgh pupils return to classes

Nearly 400 pupils from Firrhill High School in Edinburgh are being educated at a university campus in light of the recent school closures. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Nearly 400 pupils from Firrhill High School in Edinburgh are being educated at a university campus in light of the recent school closures. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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ALMOST all pupils who missed lessons after 17 Edinburgh schools were shut over building safety fears are returning to the classroom.

Around 7,600 primary and secondary school children were affected by the closures enforced last Monday.

Pupils returned in stages throughout the week as alternative arrangements were put in place, with temporary rooms made available as a priority for those in senior classes who face exams in the coming weeks.

Children from all but one secondary school will have returned to education by Tuesday, although some face travelling across the city for lessons. All pupils will be back in classes by Wednesday.

Alternative arrangements include 16 temporary classrooms being installed at The Royal High School and 390 pupils from Firrhill High School being accommodated at a university campus.

• READ MORE: Practical exams postponed after Edinburgh schools closure

Other pupils are being accommodated at various schools and education centres. They will be taught in their own class groups and by their own teachers.

In total, 61 alternative schools are being used with 655 teachers relocated and 70 bus services laid on to transport pupils from the 17 schools affected.

The city council announced earlier this month that the 10 primaries, five secondaries and two additional support needs schools would not reopen as planned after the Easter break because of concerns about their construction.

• READ MORE: School closures consortium urged to pay compensation

Council leader Andrew Burns has warned some of the schools could be affected “in the longer term” and the council had “received early indications that suggest evidence of faults across all 17 affected schools to a varying extent”.

The schools were all built or refurbished under the same PPP scheme around 10 years ago by Edinburgh Schools Partnership, which revealed it was unable to provide safety assurances for the premises, sparking the closures.

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