School's out as tap floods crumbling Porty High

HUNDREDS of pupils were today sent home from a run-down city high school after a serious flood. First, second and third year pupils turned up at Portobello High School this morning to be told classes could not go ahead because of the damage.

An investigation was under way after it emerged the flood was caused by a tap left running over the weekend.

Repairs were today being carried out but it is not yet known whether the school will be able to reopen this week.

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The tap was left running on the sixth floor of the eight-storey 1960s tower block, was discovered this morning by the school's janitors.

The full extent of the damage has not been revealed, however it is understood to be extensive, with water spreading through to the floors beneath.

Senior pupils – who are currently on study leave – were able to sit exams today in make-shift exam halls.

Portobello High School is on the city's council's redevelopment programme but plans to rebuild it have been continually delayed due to funding issues.

Pupils and teachers put together a DVD earlier this year to convince politicians about the desperate need to replace the ageing building.

Its head boy Declan Slaven described going to school there like "learning in a prison".

Parent council member Willie Wilson, whose son is in second year at the school, said: "The first I heard about this was when my son arrived home this morning.

"At the moment we don't know the cause, we don't know if it's vandalism or if it's an accident.

"I hope it's not a sign of things to come."

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George Sharp, whose grandson sat an exam in the school today, said: "They had to move the exams out of the exam room and into elsewhere in the building because of the flooding.

"I was very angry when I heard because of all the publicity there's been about Portobello falling to bits.

"It's not conducive to sit exams in those conditions."

Parents also feared this morning that some exams may have to be cancelled, but the school insists they are all going ahead as scheduled.

A city council spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that there has been some flooding at Portobello High School over the holiday weekend.

"The cause of the flooding was a tap left running, which is being investigated. Work is being carried out to make repairs as necessary and exams are continuing as normal for senior students.

"Pupils from S1 to S3 have been sent home and a decision will be taken later today as to when all pupils can return to school."

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