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More than half of Edinburgh PFI schools to remain closed until August

Firrhill school in Edinburgh
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Only eight of the 17 Edinburgh private finance initiative (PFI) schools closed due to safety fears will reopen before the summer holidays, the city council has announced

The schools were closed after missing wall ties were discovered at Oxgangs Primary following the partial collapse of an external wall in January.

In a statement, City of Edinburgh Council said that three of the schools will fully reopen by Tuesday 24 May, with another due to be ready by Monday 6 June. A further two are expected to fully reopen by Monday 20 June, with two more by the following week.

Oxgang Primary School in Edinburgh

Oxgang Primary School in Edinburgh

Source: Keith Hunter

Pupils will return to Oxgangs Primary by Tuesday 24 May

Council leader Andrew Burns said: ‘The planned programme of remediation works from Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP) gives everyone a clearer picture of when schools will reopen and I am sure parents will welcome the news.’

ESP, the council’s private finance initiative partner for the schools, is currently carrying out remedial works on the closed buildings.

The full programme of works is subject to the council receiving satisfactory quality assurances from ESP and its contractors.

Safety checks will be carried out before the schools can reopen, with the council stipulating a number of stringent measures to be met.

The council confirmed that works required on the remaining nine schools will be completed by Monday 8 August at the latest, ahead of the pupils returning from holiday on Wednesday 17 August.

Burns said: ‘The safety of our children is our number one priority and we all want our schools to reopen safely, as soon as possible.

‘We will continue to work with ESP and their partners to ensure all work and quality checks are completed, so we can update parents as quickly with information about their schools. If we are able to bring forward reopening dates then we will do so.’

Another building which was part of the PFI deal - Goodtrees Community Centre - is expected to reopen on Monday 15 August.

ESP, originally formed by Amey and Miller Construction, signed a £360 million 30-year contract to build, fit out and maintain the schools in 2001. Galliford Try bought Miller Construction in 2014.

Craigmount School in Edinburgh

Craigmount School in Edinburgh

Source: Keith Hunter

The school is expected to stay shut until August

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