And it has been revealed that some of them could be quite difficult to put right.
Edinburgh Schools Partnership (ESP), the public-private partnership that built the latest generation of schools in the city and is responsible for their upkeep, has been surveying 17 recently-built schools after brickwork collapsed at one during a storm in January. It later emerged that header ties were missing. Miller Construction was responsible. Miller was also the contractor for Lourdes Primary in Glasgow, which had was temporarily closed for urgent repairs in 2012 when the same structural problem – missing header ties – was identified.
ESP’s failure to provide reassurance that the Edinburgh schools were safe prompted the council to keep the schools shut after the Easter holidays. Alternative schooling arrangements have now been put in place for the affected children.
Council leader Andrew Burns said: “Yesterday evening the council received early indications that suggest evidence of faults across all 17 affected schools to a varying extent. At the moment it is too early to say what the impact will be as full survey results from Edinburgh Schools Partnership have not been yet been received. Some faults may be easy to fix and may not present a major problem while others could be longer term.
“What is certain is that we won't take risks with the safety of our schools children and schools won't reopen until Edinburgh Schools Partnership can assure us of their safety. As part of the contract, Edinburgh Schools Partnership own, maintain and assure the safety of the affected buildings.
“We will publish further information on individual school surveys when these are formally received and of course provide an update to parents on their individual schools and the remediation works required.”
The programme of structural surveys arranged by the Edinburgh Schools Partnership is continuing.