Head teacher moves to allay concerns after Kirkcaldy school fire

Fire engines outside the school
Fire engines outside the school

A concerned parent has hit out after she claims her daughter was left stranded following a fire at a Kirkcaldy high school.

Students were evacuated from St Andrews High School on Wednesday afternoon, after a fire was started in a toilet block within the building.

The blaze was reported shortly after 3.30pm at the end of the school day, so pupils were told just to make their way home without being allowed back into the classrooms to pick up their belongings, which they had been told to leave behind.

As many didn’t have their bus passes or mobile phones with them, some were struggling to let their parents know what had happened.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “My daughter couldn’t get on the bus even though she had a bus pass because too many people jumped on the bus.

“She was told to go into school to get a slip for the normal bus (no idea what bus) and left to get on with it. There was no phone call home or anything, and it was only by chance my husband went looking for her after my son got home and told us she never got the bus.”

A Facebook post which attracted many comments from disgruntled parents was later removed from the St Andrews High School parents page.

Patrick Callaghan, head teacher at St Andrews, said: “The safety of our pupils is always our key priority. In this particular instance, as pupils had been evacuated from the building because of a small fire and there was still residual smoke, it was viewed to be safer for them to go directly home on the buses that were waiting for them.

“It was the end of the day, and this was to prevent our pupils from entering the building until deemed safe by the emergency services.

“A few pupils who told staff they required keys to get into their homes were safely escorted into the school by staff and then made their way home.

“All parents were contacted directly to inform them of a delay to buses and that the pupils’ belongings would be safe until the next day.

“No parent has contacted me to discuss the matter or raise any concerns. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with any parent who has concerns about their child getting home.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff and pupils for the professional and responsible way in which everyone dealt with the situation.”