Friday, April 22, 2016

Edinburgh School closures - update/s

Some further updates on both 'exam arrangements' and also on 'survey results' are now available via the main section of the Council Website ...

... I'll additionally just re-produce the text of the two, related News Releases below.

And a quick reminder that a further detailed Report, including the issue of an independent Inquiry, will all come back to the next meeting of the Council's "Corporate, Policy & Strategy Committee" on Tuesday 17th May - see earlier post (and links therein) here.


Exam arrangements in place

Alternative arrangements for pupils sitting exams next month, and who are affected by the recent school closures, have been drawn up by the City of Edinburgh Council.
The contingency plans have been put together as exams start in the first week of May. 
All pupils will be sitting their exams in the schools where they are currently attending.
The arrangements are:
  • Royal High, Drummond and Firrhill pupils will use their schools
  • Gracemount and Craigmount will be sitting their exams at their host schools of Liberton and Tynecastle respectively
Individual schools will update pupils and parents regarding their specific arrangements. 
Over the past week the Council has had very positive discussions with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) about exams and the contingency arrangements.
Education Convener Councillor Paul Godzik said: “With the first exams only a few weeks away it is absolutely vital that we have these plans in place and pupils are given notice as to where they will be sitting their exams.
“Pupils have enough to do with their studying preparations without additional worry over where they may be sitting them. Despite the hugely challenging situation the Council have tried to ensure our pupils are given every chance to prepare properly and that as far as possible they are not impacted by the school closures.  
“We will be outlining in detail to the SQA the arrangements we have put in place and how this has affected pupils, as well as providing additional study support to pupils where we feel this is necessary.”
Jean Blair, SQA Director of Operations, said: "Clearly our primary concern is for all the young people involved. We continue to work closely with City of Edinburgh Council and the individual schools to support them in the practical arrangements for the exams, which begin on Wednesday 4 May. 
“The national timetable of exams will continue as planned and pupils should continue with their studies in preparation to sit their exams on the dates in the published exam timetable."
The programme of structural surveys arranged by the Edinburgh Schools Partnership is continuing. Parents will be provided with further information on individual school surveys once the full reports are received and assessed.
Find out more about school closures on the Council website.

Update on school closures not expected until end of next week

The City of Edinburgh Council has confirmed it is now not expecting to receive details of when the PPP1 schools will be available for pupils until the end of next week.
Chief Executive Andrew Kerr said he was disappointed by the lack of survey results from the Edinburgh Schools Partnership who operate and manage the schools on behalf of the Council and who are responsible for undertaking the required repairs.

He said: “We have been in constant dialogue with the Edinburgh Schools Partnership, and they are aware of our concerns.  It is important that we have clear information regarding the condition of these schools, and when they will be safe to reopen.

“I know that parents, teachers and pupils will share my frustration at this delay. The safety of our children is our number one priority and we all want our schools to reopen safely, as soon as possible. 

“We are doing everything we can so ESP can provide the Council with the information which will allow us to make a decision regarding the next steps.”

The schools were closed on Monday 11 April and affect 7,600 primary and secondary pupils and 740 nursery pupils.

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