Pupils at Oxgangs ordered to '˜stay indoors' after roof damaged

STAFF and pupils at a privately-built primary school hit by a wall collapse two years ago were today ordered to stay indoors after wind damaged the roof.

Pupils have been ordered to stay indoors at Oxgangs Primary School.
Pupils have been ordered to stay indoors at Oxgangs Primary School.

Oxgangs Primary in Edinburgh was at the centre of a major safety scare in 2016 when an entire wall containing nine tonnes of masonry collapsed in high winds.

The school, recently built for the council under controversial Public Public Partnership (PPP) arrangements, today had roof flashing blown loose.

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All staff and children were ordered to stay inside and allowed to leave the school at the end of the day from just one exit.

The roof has been damaged in high winds at Oxgangs according to reports.

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The incident comes just three weeks after a ceiling tile fell on top of a female pupil moments before part of the ceiling frame collapsed as children and staff left the room.

The school’s headteacher, Liz Walshe sent an email to parents at 1pm today, saying: “This morning we became aware that a section of flashing on the school’s roof was loose and flapping in the wind.

“Officers from the Council and our PPP provider attended on site immediately and are currently carrying out checks.

The roof has been damaged in high winds at Oxgangs according to reports.

“As a precaution staff and pupils have been kept inside and only the main entrance is being used for coming in and out of the school.

“We have taken these precautionary steps as we take the health and safety of our pupils and staff extremely seriously.

“I want to reassure you that action is being taken to fix the flashing.

“When collecting your child please collect from the main entrance this afternoon. We will stagger the release of the classes so please be aware that it could take slightly longer than usual to clear the building.

“Can I thank you for your support and patience. I will keep you updated regarding any changes to usual school arrangements tomorrow.”

One parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Part of Oxgangs Primary has been falling apart again. Roof flashings on the roof are loose and pupils are being kept inside as they think they will come off in the wind.

“They kind of lied to parents about it when some were picking the kids up from nursery. When picking our kids up they said they were concerned about a door when the real issue is with a part of the roof coming off.

“They knew about the problem at the time but we weren’t told. Then we just got an email about it. Very devious.”

Last month, the City of Edinburgh Council said they would be carrying out inspections on 17 schools following the incident at Oxgangs where the ceiling tile fell on a pupil.

The lightweight tile, approx 2ft square, fell from a suspended ceiling in a “general purpose” room.

The school said the pupil was unharmed in the incident.

The council said inspections were being carried out as a “precaution” on all of the schools funded through the PPP arrangements.

The schools were all forced to close over concerns about the quality of construction in the wake of the 2016 wall collapse at Oxgangs.

Those affected were all built or refurbished following a £360m private finance deal – dubbed “PPP1” – in 2002.

The incidents prompted council property chief Peter Watton to admit the authority had “got it wrong” a Holyrood committee.