Sciennes Primary School has long had one of the lowest playground to pupil ratios in the country. This has been exacerbated by the temporary classrooms currently in the playground whilst work is being carried out in the school building.
The Spaces for People measures which had been in place for much of the pandemic had allowed the playground to be extended but issues remained about safety. A longer-term solution is badly needed. I have been working with ward councillors, the parent council and local MSP Daniel Johnson to find a solution.
You can read the motion submitted by councillors below:
- Notes the longstanding and ongoing challenge of providing adequate playground space for children at Sciennes Primary School that this motion has been submitted on behalf of all four Southside-Newington ward councillors with the support of Sciennes Parent Council;
- Notes that because building works at Sciennes primary School have required use of the existing playground for portacabins, agreement has been reached with the Council to extend the play area into Sciennes Road in front of the school on a temporary basis and that this has been implemented, with some actions outstanding;
- Notes that with the move of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children to Little France, it has been possible to close Sciennes Road to vehicular traffic without significant disruption to traffic flows, although passage for pedestrians and cyclists through the new play area has been maintained, resulting in some concern over welfare of pupils and the need for additional school staff to be present while the play area is in use;
- Requests that council officers bring forward a report on closing Sciennes Road to traffic in front of Sciennes Primary school on a permanent basis to provide adequate playground space for the school in the long term, using the most appropriate mechanism such as Traffic Regulation, Stopping-Up or Redetermination Order etc;
- Requests that in the meantime, while a permanent closure is investigated, that all practical measures are taken to make the temporary, partial closure safe and secure for children, including signage and road painting as previously agreed, and also exploring closing the road to pedestrians and cyclists during use of the play area during school time;
- Requests that appropriate council officers meet with ward councillors and parent council representatives as soon as possible to progress this matter and that a members’ briefing is provided to this committee and ward councillors by the end of March.