Scottish schools: 150 safety incidents recorded

Data shows many staff and pupils have been put at risk by dangerous school buildings

Tes Reporter

Scottish schools: 150 safety incidents recorded

New figures reveal at least 150 “building safety incidents” were recorded at Scottish schools in the past two years,

A freedom of information request was made to local authorities in Scotland, asking them to detail incidents involving either the collapse or partial collapse of a wall or structure, or a child or teacher being struck by a falling object.

Of the 32 councils contacted, 18 published a response to the request made by the Scottish Conservatives.

Three of the incidents took place at Liberton High School in Edinburgh, the school in which 12-year-old Keane Wallis-Bennett died when a wall collapsed in 2014.

Incidents reported across schools in Scotland included the falling of tiles or concrete and the collapse of walls, roofs or doors.

Dundee reported the highest number of incidents, with 49 reports in 2017-18.

Scottish Conservative shadow education secretary Liz Smith said: "Each one of these incidents represents a risky situation that children or staff have been put in while at school.

"Children and staff must be safe at school and the fabric of the school buildings must be maintained properly.”

She added: "Including building reports in school inspections is an obvious way to ensure that school buildings are fit for purpose and prevent any more avoidable accidents. It is extremely fortunate that more children or staff haven't been hurt.

"The SNP must ensure that schools are properly built and maintained – including building reports in school inspections would enable effective monitoring of school buildings and prevent further harm."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "The health and safety of all pupils while at school in Scotland is of paramount importance to us.

"All local authorities have a statutory responsibility to manage and maintain the school estate, and provide a safe environment for young people and staff.”

He added: "In the current year, councils will receive a local government finance settlement of £10.7 billion.

"This will provide a real-terms boost in both revenue and capital funding for public services, including education budgets."

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