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Minister: Wall collapse school 'fraying and fragmenting'

The school where a 12-year-old pupil died after a wall collapsed has had "difficulties with fragmenting and fraying to the fabric" of the building, according to a Scottish government minister.

Liberton High School in Edinburgh where 12-year-old Keane Wallis-Bennett died yesterday Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill insisted Edinburgh council were doing a "good job" on school maintenance, despite financial pressures.

He also sought to reassure parents that "everything that needs to be done immediately is being done" to make sure Liberton High School is safe.

Yesterday Edinburgh Council said they were not aware of any prior concerns about the wall.

Building checks after girl's death in wall collapse

Urgent school building checks will begin today after a 12-year-old pupil died when a wall in a PE changing room collapsed on her.The girl, named locally as Keane Wallis-Bennett, was pronounced dead at Liberton High School in Edinburgh shortly before 10am yesterday.

Building checks will begin at the school today. Credit: ITV News

Pupils were sent home early, while police and health and safety officials launched an inquiry.

Edinburgh City Council said the wall that collapsed was a "free-standing modesty wall", and all other such walls in its other schools are to be checked by building surveyors, starting this morning.

The school will not reopen this week and a full council survey of Liberton High will be completed before pupils return from the Easter holidays in three weeks.


Pupil: Wall in school changing rooms was 'all loose'

Some at the school said concerns had previously been raised about the safety of a wall in the gym changing rooms where a 12-year-old girl died today.

Pupil Tamara Taylor told ITV News that the wall was "loose".

"People were pushing it and stuff, and it went all loose," she said.

Edinburgh City Council said the wall that collapsed was a "free standing modesty wall", and all other such walls in its other schools are to be checked by building surveyors.

Check of Edinburgh school buildings after wall collapse

Edinburgh City Council has said an urgent review of all school buildings with similar free-standing walls will begin tomorrow after one in a changing room collapsed and killed a 12-year-old pupil.

It said that a full survey of the main building at Liberton High School, where the incident occurred, will be carried out before pupils are allowed to go back inside.

Police investigations are ongoing, however we understand that the wall that collapsed was a free standing modesty wall in a changing room.

A full survey of all our schools, including Liberton High School, was carried out in 2012/13 and no concerns with this wall were identified.

However, as a precaution, specialist council building services staff will be surveying all similar walls in schools where we know that they exist.

– edinburgh city council

Council 'not yet aware' of any previous wall concerns

Asked whether the council was aware of any concerns about the wall prior to today's incident, Andy Gray, head of schools and community services at the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

We are not aware of that at this stage.

We are working with the police and the Health and Safety Executive to really find out thoroughly what has happened today.

Superintendent Matt Richards said:

At the moment the Health and Safety Executive and the police will meet tomorrow morning to decide the lead.

We're working with the council as well to ensure we get to know exactly what happened.


Police: Edinburgh wall collapse victim was aged 12

Police Scotland have said that the schoolgirl who died after she was crushed by a wall at her school was 12-years-old.

The pupil has not been identified, although Liberton High School confirmed earlier in a text to the parents of other pupils that the schoolgirl's parents had been notified.

Edinburgh parent received text from son: 'We're OK'

A parent of children at Liberton High School in Edinburgh has recounted the moment he received a text from his son, telling him "we're all OK".

A schoolgirl was killed at the school this morning after being crushed by a collapsing wall, reportedly in a PE changing room.

Alan Palfreyman said he had no idea what had happened until he received the text from one of his children who attends the school.

Mr Palfreyman told ITV News: "Matthew was born the day after Dunblane, and I instantly thought 'is it something major that's happened?'. Obviously it turned out that it had."

Parent: School wall collapse is 'concerning'

It is understood the parents of the girl who was killed inside an Edinburgh high school this morning when a wall collapsed on her have been informed of her death.

Parents began collecting their children from Liberton High School from around 12.30pm. They said it has now been closed for the day.

I was in a meeting when I heard what had happened and have come in to collect my son.

We haven't been told any more about it.

It is concerning that this has happened. You just don't expect this kind of thing to happen inside a school.

– Parent Shailesh Shrestha
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