A PRIMARY school is being closed as a “precaution” after a hole was found in the playground near the building.

Edinburgh City Council leaders said Brunstane Primary School would now remain closed while further investigations are carried out, with staff and pupils to be relocated elsewhere when the new term starts in August.

Joan Griffiths, the council’s convener for education, children and families, accepted the decision was “highly unusual” but stressed closing the school for further investigations was a “precaution which hasn’t been taken lightly”.

It comes after planned works at the school were said to have revealed issues with the ground conditions – including the “small hole” in the playground.

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The school site contains historic coal mine workings, with the council now working closely with the Coal Authority to determine the cause and extent of the problem.

Teaching staff and children, including youngsters at the nursery, will begin the new term elsewhere, with nursery children to attend the Moffat Early Years Campus.

With the site also housing the Magdalene Community Centre, alternative venues are also being considered for the community groups who use that building.

Griffiths said: “This is highly unusual but I know parents, carers and the local community will fully understand why we had to take this decision to close the school as a precaution which hasn’t been taken lightly.

“The expert advice we have received from independent engineers is that the site should remain closed until further investigative work has identified the exact nature of the problem.

“We’ll be working closely with the Coal Authority to establish what has caused this and what the next steps are so we can reopen the site.”

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She added: “I know this news will be disappointing for everyone affected by the closures, however, it is the most sensible solution given what has happened.

“Our education officers are working closely with the school and other council teams to identify suitable schools so learning and teaching can continue for our young people.”

With schools in Edinburgh due to return on August 16, she said parents and carers for children would be updated, adding that the council “will do everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum”.