School closures: Payouts for parents ‘could run into millions’

Gracemount High is one of the school's affected. Picture: Julie Bull
Gracemount High is one of the school's affected. Picture: Julie Bull
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Compensation claims for parents could “easily” run into millions of pounds as a result of the Edinburgh schools closure, a lawyer has warned.

Glen Millar, of Thompsons Solicitors, said parents had a case as a result of a “clear breach of duty” by the 17 schools’ builders.

He said the final cost of any reimbursement to parents could be millions of pounds.

Mr Millar said: “I think parents certainly have a stateable case that a lawyer could put before a court.

“It appears there’s been a clear breach of duty by the builders.”

Edinburgh City Council chief executive Andrew Kerr said the consortium behind the closures, Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP), had confirmed it will take “full financial responsibility” for repairs.

Mr Kerr added: “In addition, I have raised the prospect of parents’ childcare costs being reimbursed.”

An ESP spokesman said: “We have had no specific discussions to date with the City of Edinburgh Council on compensation for parents. Our focus has been on getting the schools opened, by investigating and resolving all issues as soon as possible.

“We are in daily contact with the council and it will be up to them to decide how any financial settlement agreed with ESP should be used.”