Almost 90 Scottish schools still have 'combustible' cladding similar to Grenfell Tower as Tories call for 'urgent' action

The Scottish Conservatives have called for “urgency” in replacing banned combustible cladding in Scotland’s schools.

It comes after a Freedom of Information request submitted by the party revealed 88 school buildings – 71 primary schools and 17 secondary schools – still have flammable cladding of the same or similar type to that of the Grenfell Tower.

Seventy-two people died after a blaze broke out in the high-rise building in June 2017, which spread rapidly due to the cladding that had been installed on the outside.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The party reported that in total, the cladding is present on 108 Scottish council and health board-owned buildings.

Workers remove cladding for testing from a tower block in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The Scottish Government received £97.1 million in consequentials for the remediation of buildings constructed with high-risk cladding for 2021/22.

Housing secretary Shona Robison said in May that “every penny” of the £97.1m, as well as any additional funding, would be invested into assessing buildings and ensuring they are of a safe standard.

But the Scottish Conservatives accused the Government of “dither and delay” over the cladding’s removal.

Housing spokesperson Miles Briggs said: “The SNP have completely taken their eye off the ball on this issue.

“People will be deeply alarmed and angry to see how many public buildings remain covered in high-risk cladding in Scotland today.

“While the SNP dither and delay, hundreds of schoolchildren across the country are being taught in unsafe, combustible buildings.”

He said the Scottish Government had been “pitifully slow” to make use of funding from the UK Government, suggesting it has spent “only a fraction of the £100 million” received so far.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Briggs added: “The SNP have a duty to ensure publicly-owned buildings reach safety standards, and right now they are failing in this duty.

“It’s high time the SNP-Green Government treated this issue with the urgency it deserves – and took immediate action to rid Scotland’s schools and hospitals of this dangerous hazard.”

The Scotsman first revealed in March that Edinburgh’s multi-storey Sick Children’s Hospital – one of the Government buildings where the cladding is present – was having compliance checks to ensure the material does not pose a health risk.

The new hospital is covered in an Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) style cladding, similar to that used on the Grenfell Tower.

The same cladding has also been used on Clydebank Leisure centre and 12 primary schools.

The fire at Grenfell killed 72 people when it ripped through the tower in the early hours of June 14, 2017.

Several types of cladding were used on the West London tower, including Arconic’s version of ACM, Celotex RS5000 insulation, and Kingspan’s Kooltherm K15. It is this last component that is also used on the exterior walls of the new Sick Kids hospital.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

NHS Lothian has previously maintained the cladding on the Sick Kids is safe and there is no significant additional risk to patients, staff and visitors.

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.