Braeview Academy parents' meeting

Braeview Academy parents

Pupils from fire-hit Braeview Academy could be back in classes on the site next month, it has been revealed.

Parents and carers were told at a meeting last night that the city council is working towards opening temporary classrooms in the grounds by November 30.

Pupils are currently being educated at Baldragon Academy and Craigie High after a major fire last month devastated the school.

Executive director of the Children and Families Service, Paul Clancy, said: “We are working towards pupils returning to the Braeview site on November 30, although I have to stress that is dependent on a number of factors.

“Setting up classrooms and other facilities from scratch within the grounds is a major undertaking, and involves lots of unseen work like connecting utilities under the ground. Projects of this scale can unfortunately be subject to slippage in timescales.

“We will be very dependent on the weather and other factors outwith our control if we are to achieve that date, but I feel it is important that we share with parents and carers the target we are working towards.

“We have had huge support from our colleagues in City Development. A lot of work has already been done and we will all be doing our best to hit the November 30 date.”

Parents and carers attending the meeting were told that high-quality portable units will be set up to house classrooms and other facilities, including a dining area serving hot and cold meals.

There will also be access to the block which hosts classes in sciences, art and design, technology and drama.

Children and families convener, Councillor Stewart Hunter, said: “To have pupils potentially back on site 11 weeks after the fire is an incredible achievement, and I’m grateful to everyone involved in trying to make that happen.

“There is a determined effort ongoing across council service departments to ensure that these young people can return to the school site as soon as possible.”

The work on site is part of the council’s efforts to minimise disruption to the education of the 570 young people who attend Braeview.

Mr Clancy said: “Our efforts to date have been on putting short and now medium term measures in place for pupils following the fire.

“Ongoing discussions and consultation will continue following the pupils' return to determine what needs to be done in the longer term to return to normality after this awful fire.”

While classes have continued at Baldragon and Craigie, discussions have been taking place with the Scottish Qualifications Authority about supporting pupils who have exams this session.

Braeview head teacher Lesley Elder said: “We ran additional classes for pupils during the October holidays to increase the amount of teaching time pupils are getting.

“We will continue to put additional provision in place, and I would encourage parents and carers to ensure young people take part in this as much as possible.

“I am extremely pleased and proud at how well learning and teaching continues to be delivered to our young people, despite the challenges we face due to the fire.”

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