Schools cover-up claims denied by SLC

12-04-2016 Lanark Grammar School. Picture Sarah Peters.
12-04-2016 Lanark Grammar School. Picture Sarah Peters.

A denial has been issued by South Lanarkshire Council that it covered up difficulties with three out of Clydesdale’s four private finance-built new secondary schools in the wake of the Edinburgh PFI schools scandal.

Lanark Grammar parent and childrens’ rights campaigner Julia Marrs, of Kirkfieldbank, has now quizzed the council on why it did not reveal that this building plus Carluke and Biggar High Schools allegedly had “problems” with wall ties four years ago when asked, earlier this year, if there were any local implications from the discovery of serious similar faults in the capital’s new-build, public/private financed schools.

In a message, she asks top SLC officials “I have been shocked to note 10 South Lanarkshire schools, including Lanark Grammar, where my own son attends, were included in a BBC report detailing buildings, paid for under a PPP/PFI deal, that had experienced build defects in 2012, following storm damage at two locations.

“In light of your re-assurance in recent months that SLC had overseen the work of building the new schools and that the build standard was therefore high, I am concerned by this apparent lack of openness and clarity.

‘‘I ask for full disclosure of all the build problems, especially those involving wall ties, that have been identified in South Lanarkshire schools,”

However, a council spokeswoman rejected any attempt to withhold information, stating said: “”Lanark Grammar has always been and remains a safe and inspiring place of learning for young people. As a sensible precaution following storm damage at two other schools in 2012, Lanark Grammar was checked along with all of our secondary schools.

“No issues of any significance were discovered at the school so there was nothing to tell the public or the press.”