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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 March 2008, 21:19 GMT
Pupils in dilapidated buildings
By Seonag MacKinnon
BBC Scotland's Education Correspondent

Our Lady of Peace
Pupils from Our Lady of Peace will move to a new building
In the east end of Glasgow grey railings surround a crumbling Sixties building.

The walls are dirty white and decorated with graffiti. On bad days wind buffets the building and rain comes in through the roof.

On very bad days the sun shines, inflicting suffocating temperatures in classrooms where most windows can't be opened.

No sunshine ever seems to penetrate into the corridors, but you've guessed haven't you that the rain is successful.

Staff and pupils walk in a slalom between the buckets set out to catch what they can.

Elizabeth Robertson, headteacher, says this isn't the way it should be.

"There's paint peeling off the walls, paint peeling off the radiators. Ceilings are falling in and the effect this has on the children - we are saying to them this is what you deserve, this is what you're worthy of.

"The effect it has on staff morale is - saying to them this is what you deserve. And I think we deserve more for the 21st Century in education".

Playing catch, catching balls, doing anything much is restricted in the gym of Our Lady of the Peace.

Dyane Sutherland, aged 11 looks to the ceiling: "A lot of the wall has fallen off. It's dangerous. It could cause an injury to one of the pupils".

Natasha Steele, also 11, says: "We can't play many sports in the gym because we're not allowed in certain parts of it."

When the wind comes we think the roof is going to come off
Susan O'Neill
Mother
In the classroom of primary five, Miss McCoist is at the blackboard explaining maths division.

There's another board on the ceiling above her head. It's like many more boards around the school trying to hold back crumbling plaster.

She asks: "Over half are from families on benefits, three times the national average. They seem to be children who could gain from the very best that Scottish education has to offer, not the converse."

Happy news - in just a few weeks the children and staff move to a shiny new campus. In an empty room at the old building, staff are gleefully packing boxes.

The new building is part of a wave of new schools Glasgow council has erected in recent years in its drive to regenerate the city.

Council leaders are desperate to embark on a new wave of building. Their hope is that government leaders now make a swift decision on the new funding scheme that will help this happen.

Susan O'Neill, who has two children at Our Lady of Peace, is looking forward to the new campus. She hopes in time no children in Scotland will be trying to learn in anything resembling their current building.

"The school's falling apart. When the wind comes we think the roof is going to come off. I don't think the children are unsafe but you don't know what's going to happen," she says.



SEE ALSO
Decades to fix school buildings
20 Mar 08 |  Scotland



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