Parents find body hanging from tree in school grounds

The body of a man who hanged himself in a primary school was discovered by distressed parents as children arrived for class.

The shocking discovery was made at St John Vianney RC Primary, Liberton at 9am yesterday morning as parents and pupils arrived at the school.

It is understood the man, said to be in his thirties, was found by parents in the nursery playground after they had dropped off their children.

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Dozens more parents and pupils may have walked by the body before the school was closed for the day to allow police to investigate.

The gates of the school are locked at night and it is believed the man would have had to climb over the fencing to gain access.

Children were sent home from the school in Ivanhoe Crescent shortly after the man’s body was discovered.

A police spokesman said officers were still carrying out the checks on the corpse to determine its age and identity.

The man’s death is not believed to be suspicious.

It is not known if he had links to the school.

Michael Davidson, 26, a warehouse worker, has a son who attends the school and said it would be difficult for children at the school to understand what had happened.

He said: “It’s pretty scary. I got a phone call from my partner to say what had happened.

“My son doesn’t know ­anything about it – when word gets out to the kids, it’s going to be pretty awkward.

“There will be so much more to the story, who was this guy? What was he doing at the school?”

Pupils at the school are expected to return to classes as normal today.

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “There’s a lot of rumours going around. Whoever it was, they must have had to jump right over the fence, because the school is all locked up at night.

“The police and the ambulance turned up at around nine, when the kids were just going into the school.

“There must have been a fair few people walked past the body and didn’t know it was there. Whatever happened, it’s a sad way to end.”

Edinburgh City Council said it is offering support to staff and more than 250 pupils, although it is not thought any children saw the body.

Liberton Councillor Nick Cook said the situation was “shocking” and he was worried about the impact on families.

He said: “It’s important that swift action is taken by investigating the circumstances and establishing what happened.

“It does sound like a tragic ­accident, and it will be very traumatic for the family of the person and the parents and pupils at the school.”

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “Police responded to a primary school in the Inch area of Edinburgh after a man’s body was found within the grounds. At this stage, the circumstances ­leading to the death of the male are being investigated and a report will be sent to the ­Procurator Fiscal.”

Teachers at the school are to be given training to provide support to pupils if needed.

A Council spokesperson said, “We are aware of this incident and assisting Lothian and Borders Police.

“We will be providing any support needed for pupils and staff of the school.”