Latest: Eleven schools built by WBS to reopen as normal next week

Latest: Eleven schools built by WBS to reopen as normal next week

Latest: 11 out of 42 schools built by Western Building Systems will not need any works carried out, the Department of Education has said.

In an update published this evening, the Department said these schools will open as normal next week.

14 other schools will re-open once external safety measures like fences and protective decking have been put in place.

However, 13 schools are still undergoing structural assessment and analysis and the outcome of this will be released tomorrow.

At Ardgillan Community College, which was closed due to structural issues in phase one of the building, the department says all students will be accommodated in phase two.

Meanwhile, in Tyrrelstown Educate Together, St Luke's National School and Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada in Lucan, only the ground floor will stay open, and initial agreements are in place to accommodate many of the students elsewhere.

Minister for Education Joe McHugh said: “The outcomes of further structural assessments which we have received today are important in providing clarity to school authorities, students and parents.

"The advice I have received is that no other building has presented the same severity of structural issues as those identified in Phase 1 of Ardgillan Community College, which was built in 2009.”

In a statement, Western Building Systems said that they noted the Department's update, but said no details of the assessments have been shared with them.

"We do not know what any conclusions reached at this point are based on. So far, we have been invited to meet with the Department’s inspectors and officials at 13 of the 42 schools. We had insufficient time on site to make structural evaluations," a spokesperson said.

What is becoming clearer is that schools previously certified for completion as being free from defects by the Department, and described less than twelve months ago by the then Minister as being built to the highest standards, are now being deemed to require remedial works.

"This includes schools where the Department’s own appointed Clerk of Works had a full-time presence on site. The same projects were also inspected and approved as compliant in line with the new building regulation control process.

That such a turnaround is now being reached is troubling on a wider scale.

WBS said they are limited in what we can say given that assessments are ongoing, but they wished to reiterate their recognition of the impact on pupils, parents and teachers at the schools involved.

"While it remains unclear as to why and how we have reached this point, we are not walking away. We honour our contracts. We continue to engage with the Department and remain keen to meet the Minister."

Schools cleared to open in full, without any internal or external intervention

Dublin

Luttrellstown Community College

Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua, Dublin 18

Broombridge Educate Together National School

Scoil Choilm Community National School, Porterstown

Gaelscoil na Giúise, Firhouse

Scoil Aoife Community National School, Citywest

Firhouse Educate Together National School

Meath

Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg, Dunboyne

Laois

Maryborough National School, Portlaoise

Donegal

Letterkenny Educate Together National School

Wexford

St. Joseph's Primary School, Gorey

Schools will re-open once external safety measures have been implemented

Dublin

Scoil Chaitlín Maude,Tallaght

Castlemills Education Centre, Balbriggan

Lucan East Educate Together National School

Meath

St Paul's National School, Ratoath

Coláiste De Lacy, Ashbourne

Gaelscoil na Mí, Ashbourne

Ashbourne Educate Together National School

Laois

Convent National School, Portarlington

Gaelscoil Phortlaoise

Portlaoise Educate Together National School

Kildare

Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Athy

Athy Model School (GP Hall Extension only)

Gaelscoil Átha Í (GP Hall Extension only)

Cork

Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Rochestown

Schools subject to ongoing structural assessment and analysis

Dublin

Lucan Community National School, Balgaddy Rd

Griffeen Valley Educate Together National school

St. Francis of Assisi Primary School, Belmayne

Belmayne Educate Together National School

Wicklow

Gaelscoil na gCloch Liath

Rush and Lusk Educate Together National School

Laois

Convent National School, Portarlington

Gaelscoil Phortlaoise

Portlaoise Educate Together National School

Kildare

Gaelscoil Mhic Aodha

Cork

Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin, Clonakilty

Cara Junior (Special) School

Carrigaline Educate Together National School

St. Colman's Boys National School, Macroom

Westmeath

Mullingar Educate Together National School

Galway

Galway Educate Together National School

Update: Only ten schools built by WBS affected by structural problems, sources say

Only about a quarter of the schools built by Western Building Systems are affected by structural problems, it is understood.

Sources suggest around ten will need remedial work, but they should all be able to re-open on Monday.

42 schools built by the company have been under the spotlight, after three in Dublin were forced to close.

Engineers and Department of Education officials have spent the day analysing the reports from inspectors who carried out structural assessments of the schools built by the WBS.

It is understood that most of the schools do not have structural issues to be addressed.

In the roughly ten schools that do need work, engineers are on site putting scaffolding, supports and safety measures in place.

The measures will be enough to ensure that all the schools can reopen, it is understood, although in some cases only ground floor classrooms will be accessible and some students will have to be accommodated at other nearby schools.

In particular, efforts are being made to ensure that no special needs classes have to move with more senior classes likely to be the ones who will have to commute to other buildings.

The final decision on reopening will be a matter for the boards of management of the affected schools.

Sources suggest around ten will need remedial work, but they should all be able to re-open on Monday.

Earlier: Parents and pupils wait as engineers review structural reports from schools

Engineers and Department of Education officials are today reviewing structural reports from schools built by Western Building Systems.

They will be advising if any work is needed to make the buildings safe.

For parents, students and teachers around the country, the anxious wait continues today.

Tests were completed yesterday on the dozens of schools nationwide that were built by Western Building Systems.

The Education Minister, Joe McHugh, said any further problems will be quickly identified and communicated to schools by tomorrow.

Latest: Eleven schools built by WBS to reopen as normal next week

The review was ordered after three Dublin schools built by the company were forced to close due to structural faults.

Parts of those schools will re-open on Monday, but some students will have to be accommodated at nearby schools until the buildings are completely safe.

Digital Desk

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