Hundreds of first years to go back to primary school due roof issues

Preston Lodge High School has had to close classrooms in August after roof issues were discovered.

Hundreds of Preston Lodge High School first years to go back to primary due roof issues LDRS

Hundreds of first year pupils due to attend a secondary school which has had to close a third of its classrooms due to roof issues will go back to primary after summer.

Preston Lodge High School, in East Lothian, has been identified as being built using a lightweight concrete which has sparked alarm nationally.

However the decision to close 23 of its 71 classrooms while work to make them safe is carried out means pupils due to move into S1 in August are now being sent back to their old schools.

In a letter to parents of the 225 youngsters who have already undergone their two day transition course ahead of moving up to the Prestonpans school, head teacher Gavin Clark says most will now remain in their current P7 classes.

However, he said, they will follow the timetable they would have had at Preston Lodge and receive lessons from teachers from the secondary school in ‘home rooms’.

Some of the youngsters due to move up from Preston Tower Primary school in Prestonpans will have their lessons at the town’s Pennypit Centre – a leisure centre – due to lack of space.

Children will also have their PE lessons at Meadowmill Sports Centre in the town as well.

Writing to families, Mr Clark said: “We recognise that this is far from ideal. But the reality is that we are dealing with an unprecedented and extremely complex situation.

“Our priorities are to minimise disruption, limit the time period for these arrangements as far as possible and maintain high-quality learning for everyone.

“I am confident that this approach will work well, because it will still provide new S1s with a meaningful secondary experience.

Preston Lodge High School has been identified as having been built using Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) .

The lightweight concrete material which was used in construction between the 1950s and 1980s has been identified as a concern by Government because it can crack and crumble.

A review of East Lothian Council buildings identified the material at the school and at its Brunton Theatre, in Musselburgh, which has had to close to performances.

The council is carrying out engineering work to establish the best options to tackle the problem with costs unknown at this stage.

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