Schools closed due to heating problem

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PUPILS across north east Fife received an extra day off this week - thanks to last year’s Royal Wedding!

One year on from the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, pupils were turned away from 10 schools in the area on Monday morning because the heating wasn’t on.

Fife Council has confirmed that the centrally controlled heating system hadn’t been changed from last year when it was programmed to switch off during the extra public holiday for the Royal Wedding.

Measures have now been put in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again

The primary schools affected were Greyfriars, Guardbridge, Kingsbarns, Largoward and New Gilson.

Kilmaron School in Cupar and the St Andrews Nursery Centre were also forced to close.

Ken Gourlay, head of asset and facilities management at the council, said: “A number of our schools have centrally-controlled heating systems which switch the heating on and off during weekends and holiday periods.

“The system is programmed every year to reflect holiday periods.

“Unfortunately, last year there was an extra date which was not deleted from this year’s programme.

“This meant systems had to be manually overridden. All systems will be checked and measures put in place to ensure this does not happen again.

“Unfortunately, in 10 of our schools the temperature did not rise quickly enough in time for the start of the school day, meaning the building would be too cold.

“As the schools had been closed over the weekend the temperature inside the buildings would have been considerably reduced.

“We have a duty of care to our children while they are in our school buildings, and we can’t have children and staff sitting in buildings which aren’t at a reasonable temperature.

“The decision to close has to be taken locally by individual headteachers who will take into account all the factors in their particular area.”

Tayport Primary School was also forced to close on Monday and Tuesday because of a problem with the school’s boilers.