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Safety pledge as pupils return to faulty concrete school in Moray

By Hazel Lawson Local Democracy Reporter

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Forres Academy.
Forres Academy.

Safety assurances have been given as pupils and staff begin to return to Forres Academy today.

Parts of the school's top floor were closed on Monday, September 11, when faulty RAAC concrete was found in the building.

However, two days later, the whole secondary shut to pupils and staff after structural engineers discovered the problem was greater than first anticipated.

Lessons subsequently moved online.

As the school reopens its entire top floor and two smaller areas on the ground floor remain completely closed off.

But structural engineers Fairhurst have given assurances that the building is safe.

At yesterday's meeting of Moray Council’s education committee, leader Kathleen Robertson thanked staff, parents and pupils for their "forbearance".

In addition she praised officers in the education department for their efforts.

Cllr Robertson (Forres, Conservative) said: "This is something that really had to be managed at pace."

Speaking after the meeting she added: "I can understand the anxiety of parents, pupils and staff during this difficult situation that has developed rapidly.

"But we have now received advice that the building is definitely safe to reopen.

"We want to be doing the minimal amount of work possible in the likelihood that the school is going to be replaced.

"But, of course, our main concern is the safety of our pupils and staff."

Forres Academy.
Forres Academy.

The council is preparing a business plan to replace Forres Academy, along with Buckie High, with new school buildings.

However, any news on whether that would be funded by Scottish Government is not expected this year.

A public meeting will be held at Forres Town Hall for parents from 7.30pm.

The phased return plan will see pupils in years four to six going to lessons today.

They will be replaced tomorrow by pupils in years one to three.

ASN pupils will be in school both days.

Then, on Friday, all pupils will be back in the classroom.

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