Conditions are not fit for sitting exams

A concerned parent sent Central Scotland list MSP Graham Simpson pictures of exposed wires and pipes at Braidhurst High
A concerned parent sent Central Scotland list MSP Graham Simpson pictures of exposed wires and pipes at Braidhurst High

Children are sitting exams in a Motherwell school while builders are carrying out a £3 million refurbishment.

Corridors and classroom ceilings are covered with exposed wiring and heating pipes – with some walls only half built.

Central Scotland list MSP Graham Simpson is calling for urgent action to be taken after seeing for himself the appalling conditions staff and pupils are having to endure at Braidhurst High.

With the exam season now in full-swing he is demanding action from North Lanarkshire Council.

Mr Simpson said “A few weeks ago I had the dubious pleasure of looking around the school and was shocked at what I saw.

“The situation has since deteriorated as is evidenced by the photos sent to me by a concerned constituent. The pictures don’t do justice to just how bad things are at Braidhurst.

“You expected some sign of the work being carried out and some level of upheaval, although nothing could prepare you for the conditions the teachers and pupils are having to put up with on a daily basis.

“There is exposed pipework and wiring and I was concerned to hear that the ceilings will be left exposed with the pipe vales and wiring within easy reach of the pupils.

“Walls are half-finished and the main reception area looks like a bomb has hit it, such as the condition it is in at the moment.

“The school is also right the middle of the exam season and nothing is more important than creating the right conditions for the pupils to sit their exams in peace and quiet.

“I was informed that the exam invigilators have senior school staff on speed-dial to ask them to get the workers to stop or be quiet if the noise is too loud near the exam hall – that is a ridiculous state of affairs.

“The pupils are in effect being taught on a building site and that can only be detrimental to their education and also to the moral of the teachers who are doing a brilliant job keeping the school going under these intolerable conditions.

“How North Lanarkshire Council thinks this is acceptable in terms of working and learning conditions is beyond me and I am calling for them to fix it and fast.”

The council says it is working with the contractors to ensure pupils are not disturbed during their exams.

A spokesman said: “We are doing all we can to keep any disruption caused by the extensive construction programme currently underway to an absolute minimum.

“The contractors are being fully co-operative and we are working closely with them with us to ensure pupils are not disturbed during their exams. For example, they have suspended work where we have asked them.

“Invigilators are also keeping a close eye during exams and will ask workmen to stop work if necessary.”