The Scottish Conservatives have called for “urgency” in replacing banned combustible cladding in Scotland’s schools.
It comes after a freedom of information request submitted by the party revealed 88 school buildings – 71 primary schools and 17 secondary schools – still have flammable cladding of the same or similar type to that of the Grenfell Tower.
Seventy-two people died after a blaze broke out in the high-rise building in June 2017, which spread rapidly due to the cladding that had been installed on the outside.
The party reported that in total, the cladding is present on 108 Scottish council and health board-owned buildings.
The Scottish Government received £97.1 million in consequentials for the remediation of buildings constructed with high-risk cladding for 2021/22.
Housing Secretary Shona Robison said in May that “every penny” of the £97.1 million, as well as any additional funding, will be invested into assessing buildings and ensuring they are of a safe standard.
But the Scottish Conservatives accused the Government of “dither and delay” over the cladding’s removal.
Housing spokesperson Miles Briggs said: “The SNP have completely taken their eye off the ball on this issue.
“People will be deeply alarmed and angry to see how many public buildings remain covered in high-risk cladding in Scotland today.
“While the SNP dither and delay, hundreds of schoolchildren across the country are being taught in unsafe, combustible buildings.”
He said the Scottish Government has been “pitifully slow” to make use of funding from the UK Government, suggesting it has spent “only a fraction of the £100 million” received so far.
Mr Briggs added: “The SNP have a duty to ensure publicly-owned buildings reach safety standards, and right now they are failing in this duty.
“It’s high time the SNP-Green Government treated this issue with the urgency it deserves – and took immediate action to rid Scotland’s schools and hospitals of this dangerous hazard.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We expect the vast majority of buildings with external cladding to meet Scotland’s stringent safety standards. The majority of Scotland’s schools are built to heights under 11 metres – making them lower risk by design.
“The Scottish Government will continue to work with local authorities and others to assess and, where necessary, remediate buildings to minimise risk.
“The Scottish Government received £97.1 million in consequentials in 2021-22 and is committed to spending this and any other consequential funding we receive on this programme of work.”
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