School closures: Practical exams postponed this week

Practical exams at schools in Edinburgh have been postponed this week. Picture: Toby Williams

Practical exams at schools in Edinburgh have been postponed this week. Picture: Toby Williams

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PRACTICAL exams due to be held this week have been postponed due to the Edinburgh schools closures.

The city council made the decision to shut 17 schools last Friday amid safety fears.

Around 7,600 children spent a second day out of lessons on Tuesday as inspections continued following the Easter break.

Now, the council has announced that practical exams due to take place at the five high schools have been postponed.

The council said in a statement on its website: “We are working closely with the SQA.

“All practical exams that were due to take place this week have been postponed and will be rearranged.

“We will update students when we have more information.”

The schools were all built or refurbished under the same public private partnership (PPP) schemes around 10 years ago and the partnership which manages them was unable to provide safety assurances, sparking the closures.

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The majority of the 2,000 pupils preparing for exams at the five high schools affected resumed lessons on Wednesday.

Senior pupils from three secondaries were able to return to their usual building as they only had partial refurbishments as part of the PPP project but S4-S6 pupils at the two other high schools will attend alternative schools but be taught by their own teachers.

S3 pupils at three of the high schools will return on Thursday.

Lessons resumed for pupils from two primary schools on Wednesday and arrangements are in place for pupils at three more primaries, two from Friday and one from Tuesday.

Children attending one of the additional needs support schools affected will be sent to one of five new locations from Friday, while at the other additional needs support school plans are in place for Thursday and Friday.

It is hoped plans for the remaining primaries will be in place by next Tuesday, the local authority said.

Andrew Kerr, Edinburgh City Council chief executive, said the arrangements had been “a huge logistical exercise”.

Closures were prompted across the school community after workers repairing structural issues with the walls at Oxgangs Primary found “further serious defects” with the building on Friday.

Construction group Galliford Try, which acquired responsibility for Oxgangs through its 2014 acquisition of Miller Construction, said it takes its role as contractor “very seriously”.

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