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Reassurance on school safety

Published Tuesday, 18 July 2017

exterior view of council headquaters

South Lanarkshire Council has confirmed that one school in the area has been fitted with aluminium composite panels.

However, the council has moved to reassure parents and staff, and all local residents, that the panels at Glengowan Primary School, in Larkhall, are not the same product as that used at Grenfell Tower.

Glengowan Primary School was rebuilt as part of the council’s schools modernisation programme and re-opened in January 2012.  It has a distinctive appearance which has a largely glass facade with a black cladding trimming around the edges.  That cladding is made up of aluminium composite panels, which is a generic description of the type of construction material that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Schools had asked councils to supply information on.

The panels at Glengowan Primary School have technical approval from the British Board of Agreement, BBA 08/4551.  The school, a low-rise building, is also fitted with sprinklers and a fire alarm system. A building warrant received for Glengowan Primary School shows that it meets all relevant construction and safety standards.

As a further precaution, officers from Housing and Technical Services Resources are seeking independent verification of the safety of the school from a firm of fire engineering consultants.  It is not considered that these panels present any particular safety concerns, but the council will be working further with these consultants to provide absolute assurance that this is the case.

The council is also requesting that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service visit the school to provide their own fire safety assessment.  In the unlikely event that any further action needs to be taken to guarantee the safety of the school it will of course be taken.

While we continue to have confidence that our buildings meet stringent building and fire safety regulations, these actions demonstrate that the council understands that there is no room for complacency when it comes to fire safety.

Schools are currently closed for the summer, and all parents and school staff will be provided with the most up-to-date information and safety reassurances before the new term begins.