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26th April 2016

PFI: Balfron High School Building Safety Questioned

PFI School

Further Concerns Raised Over PPP/PFI Schools

Last week, management were forced to close a stairwell within Balfron High School after safety concerns were raised over “suspicious wall movement”.

Balfron High School, a PFI project, had raised building safety concerns previously when high winds resulted in a wall collapsing in January this year. Upon investigation, it became clear that necessary wall ties had not been installed to secure the wall to the building.

Forth and Endrick SNP Councillor, Ian Muirhead commented:

PFI School

Stirling High School, one of a number built under Labour’s PPP/PFI Contract. No issues revealed here however problems have been found at Balfron H.S.

“The situation at Balfron High School is extremely worrying and I will be staying in touch with relevant Council officers to ensure that everything is being done to safeguard the safety of pupils and staff alike.

“The mess left behind from Labour’s toxic PFI/PPP legacy has meant that Stirling taxpayers are among those who have been ripped off and their health and safety compromised.”

The news comes after Stirling MP Steven Paterson called on Stirling Council’s Chief Executive to ensure that adequate building safety inspections were carried out on schools after a number of Edinburgh-based PFI/PPP schools were forced to close due to concerns.

Steven Paterson said:

“I am glad that independent inspections have been swiftly carried out on local schools, however, for many parents and staff, the revelations from Balfron High will confirm fears over PFI/PPP contracts.

“The Tories invented PFI and Labour and the Lib Dems embraced it with open arms – costing the taxpayer billions in wasted funds that should have been invested in vital public services.”

Stirling SNP candidate, Bruce Crawford added:

“I am very concerned about the potential impact this could have on pupils. This is a crucial time for young people who are preparing to sit their exams and the last thing they need is disruption during their study period.

“I have been in touch with Stirling Council’s Chief Executive seeking daily updates on the situation as it evolves – including contingency plans for any affected parts of the school that could be facing closure.”