Plea from parents over safety at school building site

Parents plea for disruption promise to be kept
Parents plea for disruption promise to be kept

PARENTS ARE URGING Moray Council to keep to ‘no disruption’ promises made to them in consultations before the decision last week to split their school in half.

Councillors have been heavily criticised for failing to offer any comments on the chaos that ensued at East End Primary school last week, as builders moved in on the first stage of converting the old Heritage Centre building on the premises to becoming a temporary new school.

Twenty-four hours before Councillors unanimously voted for the plan to go ahead, builders at the school were moving heavy items on the playground just as children were leaving the school – causing safety concerns that angered parents who had been assured safety of children would be paramount during the building works.

However, it has also emerged parents have been advised that during the conversion work around 50 children who are currently occupying the old school building will not have direct access to their toilets or entrance door.

Instead, they will be escorted by a member of staff to and from toilets in the 1970’s building through the school gym and the former Heritage Centre door. They will then be led through the Heritage Centre car park, which is now a builder’s compound, to get back to their own playground.

One parent told insideMoray: “We are now fully expecting the next thing is that the children will be told they cannot use the gym because it is having to be constantly used as an entrance and exit to their classrooms and toilet. After being constantly told that the works would cause no disruption to the school, something few of us ever believed, we now see the first signs that it certainly will.”

Responding to comments made by a local council on insideMoray’s social media page last week that the refurbishment works were always going to be done regardless of the decision of the Council last week, the parent added: “We accept that – but in normal circumstances refurbishment work would be carefully planned and proper care given to Health and Safety considerations.

“That was certainly not the case last week – the work was being rushed. When refurbishment were done to the old school building in 2014 they were done during the summer break so there was very little disruption – even then there were problems that led to children being taught for a few months in space outside four classrooms and a fire door, basically a corridor, with no ventilation or windows.”

Editor’s Note

It may appear strange to some that parents contacting insideMoray over their safety fears at East End Primary have insisted on anominity.

I am happy to grant them that, because I understand their positions – several are closely connected with the Moray Council and have no wish to be placed under personal pressure in their daily lives over and above the worries they already have over the safety of their children.

Several more are also concerned at the public ridicule their fears in the past have drawn from senior official and, indeed, members of the Moray Council.