MSP raises concerns over school safety in East Lothian

Concerns have been raised this week after figures emerged that there have been three separate safety concerns in East Lothian schools over the last two years.

The statistics, obtained through a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) by the Scottish Conservatives, highlights that there has been a catalogue of incidents and near misses involving walls collapsing, windows falling onto playgrounds, ceiling tiles striking teachers, loose concrete hitting pupils and football goalposts caving in.

Incidents in East Lothian include a member of staff hit by a falling loft hatch at St. Martin’s Primary School in February this year.

Schools ran by East Lothian Council experienced more accidents than 70% other local council authorities.

Schools in the Edinburgh and Dundee City Council areas had the most accidents occur with estimates that as many as 42 safety incidents occurred in Dundee last two years.

Across Scotland, it is estimated that there have been 143 safety incidents in this time period, however, the true figure is likely to be higher given that multiple councils do not collect and publish this information.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP for South Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to include building reports in school inspections to ensure that children and staff are kept safe and in appropriate buildings.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:

“Each of the three incidents in East Lothian highlights a risky situation that children and staff have been put in whilst at schools.

“It is incredibly important that we make sure that we ensure that schools are maintained properly and that our children are safe.

“Including building reports in school inspections is an obvious and straightforward way to ensure that our schools are safe and will go a long way to minimise any future accidents.

““The SNP have to make sure that schools being built and maintained properly and include building reports in school inspections as this would enable effective monitoring of school buildings and prevent further harm.”