PUPILS at a five-year-old school were left retching after a pipe burst and flooded a corridor with sewage
Foul waste dripped down walls and leaked into lockers following the incident at Carnoustie High School, Angus, on Thursday.
Janitors and dinner ladies at the school, which only opened in 2009, donned masks as workers battled to stop the flow and mop up.
But some parents expressed anger that, rather than close the building, students were told to leave the and return after lunch.
Some kept their children away yesterday (fri) amid reports the school still smelled of sewage.
One witness said: “Cleaners are working with masks and mops on one side of some double doors – unmasked support staff on the other side of the door moving pupils along. The stink is outrageous.”
A parent, who asked not to be named, said children were “retching” in the corridors.
“A sewage pipe had burst and it was running down the walls in the kids’ social area, and down behind the lockers where they keep their belongings and lunch.
“They’ve also been told not to use the toilets in the meantime and so they’ve had to go home to do that. It’s a health hazard.”
The affected area was deep cleaned overnight and the school was expected to return to normal yesterday
But parent Suzi Berwick wrote on Facebook: “I stand by my decision to keep my daughter off school today. I want to know what is being done about the way the school handled the situation, and reassurances that if anything like this ever happens again the school will be closed and parents notified.”
Scott Melville asked: “Has the plumbing from the toilets been sorted too?
“Also, it would be very much appreciated if the Headmaster can explain why the situation yesterday was obviously not carried out with an emergency action plan resulting in an extreme amount of confusion, lack of communication and distress from pupils.”
Wendy Soave wrote: “The school should be empty of pupils and teachers and awaiting advices of Environmental Health.”
And Joanna Fitzgerald complained: “My daughter just text me to say that everywhere still stinks and now I feel bad for sending her in.”
A spokesman from Angus Council said: “The school experienced a problem with the overflow of a toilet. The whole area that was affected was isolated immediately. There was a thorough deep clean from a specialist company overnight and the school will open as normal to pupils today.”
SCOTLAND’S new school exams are too tough on the sciences and risk putting students off the subject, according to teachers.
This year’s National Qualifications shakeup has seen fewer good marks in physics than in arts and social science subjects.
Research by science teachers suggests a pass rate over 85% for students who did not take any science subjects this year.
But students who did tackle subjects such as physics and biology managed a pass rate of only 55%.
Stuart Farmer, the coordinator for the institute of Physics’ teacher Network said: “Many physics teachers are expressing concern that pupils appear to be scoring lower grades than in other subjects, including maths.
“This has not generally been the case previously.
“It would be unfortunate if the [new exams] reinforces the outdated myth that physics is a hard subject.”
Mr Farmer said said this would be especially unfortunate “at a time when the number of pupils studying physics has been on the increased and the sorts of knowledge and skills it can provide are in high demand”.
Analysis from one of the physics teachers on the forum analysed a typical cohort of students taking five or more National 5 subjects of: English, Maths, PE, Drama, German and Design and manufacture. The results found 86 per cent of candidates would pass.
However if the same cohort of students studied National 5 English, Maths, Physics, Biology, geography and French only 55 per cent would pass.
The concerns have been echoed on a leading online physics teacher form called Sputnik. One member in the form said: “assignment marking is all over the place”, with the SQA “taking a nit-picking, box-ticking approach to marking that means good quality pieces of work are being given absurdly low marks.”
The new National 4 and 5 qualifications replaced Standard Grades in a shake up of the structure of qualifications in Scotland.
The changes mean students taking the National 4 qualification will not sit an end of year exam and will instead be continually assessed throughout the year.
The more academically advanced National 5 qualification does however involve a final exam.
An SQA spokesperson said: “SQA takes it responsibility to uphold the high standards of Scottish qualifications very seriously. We have a very robust set of mechanisms in place to ensure that all our qualifications- including the new Nationals- offer an appropriate level of challenge for candidates.”
RENTERS in Scotland’s cities are saying Yes to Independence, according to a new survey.
A firm of letting agents quizzed their tenants on the vote and discovered that 58% intended to vote Yes.
Citylets polled 500 people who rent properties in Scotland’s four biggest cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.
This majority support for independence varied between regions. Glasgow and Aberdeen renters are most likely to place a Yes vote at 65% each.
Edinburgh residents are the least likely to back independence at 55%.
Commenting on the findings Thomas Ashdown, Citylets MD, said: “This basic survey suggests support for independence amongst renters is higher than average.”
He added: “The private rental sector has a young demographic profile which, according to more sophisticated polls, has an above average support for independence;
“The overwhelming majority of renters would ideally like to own their property and the majority of yes voters seem to believe independence will help them get onto the property ladder.”
The survey revealed that more than 80% of renters would like to own their own home. Around 2/3rds of those voting Yes believe their prospects of home ownership would be better and more than 2/3s of those voting No believe prospects would be worse.
As the marching season for the Orange Order peaked on Saturday, thousands took to the streets for the Annual Glasgow massed parade with bands and Lodges coming from far and wide, including Northern Ireland.
Jed Smith, Managing Director of Direct Savings, has called on other companies in Scotland to follow his lead and do the same.
He said: “I’d be keen to see other companies follow our initiative. In fact, perhaps there is an argument for public sector organisations to make the decision to close also on September 18?”
He added: “This is a huge decision for the country and it’s absolutely essential everyone gets their say on Scotland’s future.
“The polls will be open for a long time on the day and there are other options like postal votes, but sometimes people’s plans fall through.
“We think by giving the full day off we can minimise these potential issues.”
An SNP spokesman added: “The chance to vote for an independent Scotland is the biggest opportunity people will ever have to ensure that the great wealth of our country works better for everyone who lives here, and that never again will Tory governments Scotland has rejected be foisted on us.
“The decision by Direct Savings reflects the importance of the vote, but of course it is for each and every company to decide what if anything it wants to do.”
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont warned against other businesses following suit.
He said: “Of course private companies can give days off to staff whenever they please, and I’m glad they’re encouraging employees to vote.
“However, we can’t have the whole country shutting down on September 18.
“Polls are open from 7am until 10pm, so flexibility is already very much built into the system, while the option of postal voting is available too.”
Terry Butcher and Maurice Malpas were officially presented as Hibernian’s new management team this afternoon by Hibernian Chairman Rod Petrie, after a six-figure compensation package was agreed between the Easter Road club and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
It emerged last night that Malpas had been offered the manager’s job by Inverness, but has opted instead to join Butcher in Edinburgh.
Radio Forth’s tenth annual star studded awards ceremony took place on 7th November. The event welcomed the UK’s hottest musical talent to the stage to celebrate the remarkable stories and achievements of Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife’s unsung heroes.
Guests included Susan Boyle, Boy George, JLS, Neon Jungle and Tom Odell.
Tibor, Edinburgh Zoo’s male Sumatran tiger, turned six today! To celebrate, keepers have arranged a special breakfast treat for the ferocious birthday boy. Born on the 16th July 2007, Tibor came to Edinburgh Zoo in October 2008 from Heidelberg Zoo in Germany.
While tigers are already impressive to see, Tibor looks especially fierce as he only has one eye. Just before arriving at Edinburgh Zoo his right eye was injured and despite treatment its condition continued to deteriorate. The eye developed glaucoma, which can be very painful in both people and animals, so surgery was performed to remove Tibor’s right eye.
Alison MacLean, Head Keeper Giant Pandas and Carnivores at Edinburgh Zoo said:
“For Tibor’s birthday we will be tying a joint of meat to one of the trees in the tiger enclosure as enrichment. We often provide our animals with enrichment activities, which help to keep them in good physical condition and to provide mental stimulation similar to what they would experience in the wild.
Horse meat is proving so popular that a Scottish chef has now doubled his weekly order. The Mongolian-style restaurant, Khublai Khans, in Edinburgh put horse meat on the menu a few weeks before the horse meat scandal broke out, and diners are going mad for the new delicacy.
Edinburgh Zoo’s very own ‘king of the beasts’ – as lions are sometimes known – celebrated his 2nd birthday in style.
Asiatic lion juvenile Jayendra, known as Jay to his keepers at the Zoo, celebrated his birthday in style with some special birthday themed enrichment. Unfortunately for Jay, Kamlesh, the lioness who he is hoped to be mated with, decided to crash the party and keep all the treats for herself.