Cam­pus shut to end of year

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS -

The trou­bled £28 mil­lion North West Com­mu­nity Cam­pus is likely to be closed for the rest of the year.

In a let­ter to par­ents, cam­pus op­er­a­tional man­ager Barry Gra­ham said safety checks and work to fix prob­lems isn’t due to be fin­ished by De­cem­ber.

He said the coun­cil would re-open the Dum­fries site when it had “full con­fi­dence” in the build­ing.

He added: “We have been ad­vised by Hub South West and Gra­ham that, due to their pro­gramme of re­me­dial work and the in­de­pen­dent checks re­quired, the school will not be ready for pupils and staff to re­turn af­ter the Oc­to­ber hol­i­days and it is likely that the time for the de­cant will ex­tend to the new year.”

He asked them to be “pa­tient and re­silient” while pupils con­tinue to be sent to schools across the town for classes.

Coun­cil leader Elaine Mur­ray said she un­der­stands par­ents and pupils will be frus­trated at the de­lay, but that the school – which closed on Septem­ber 7 af­ter a white board fell from a wall and hit a four-yearold nurs­ery pupil on the head – shouldn’t re-open un­til it is “de­liv­ered to the gold stan­dard level we were promised”.

The let­ter was sent be­fore a cri­sis meet­ing at St Ninian’s Pri­mary on Tues­day to dis­cuss the fact that some chil­dren are hav­ing to go to three dif­fer­ent schools a day.

Mum Ali­son Roberts, one of the or­gan­is­ers be­hind the sum­mit – which was at­tended by around 160 peo­ple – said the ar­range­ments were mak­ing it hard for pupils to pre­pare for pre­lims. She added: “The re­sources are not in place right now for the kids to learn. The se­nior pupils have pre­lims and if they’re say­ing that they’re go­ing back in Jan­uary, there are pre­lims on the ninth.

“They are not teach­ing the kids the full cur­ricu­lum at the mo­ment be­cause they lack the re­sources to do it. The SQA say they will make al­lowances, but what al­lowances? They’re not will­ing to ex­pand on that and the kids will still have to sit the tests at the same time.”

MSP Fin­lay Car­son said the big turnout of par­ents and pupils at the meet­ing “high­lights the se­ri­ous is­sues still be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by pupils on a daily ba­sis”.

He added: “A por­ta­ble cabin cam­pus for the se­niors was talked about weeks ago. With the NWC cam­pus now not open­ing un­til the new year this should be put in place as soon as pos­si­ble.”

Gold stan­dard Elaine Mur­ray wants prom­ises to be met

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