The GSD says it is disturbed by the concerns that teachers have expressed publicly. It calls upon the GSLP-Liberal Government to take all steps necessary to allay the fears of parents and pupils before return to school. In the meantime and till the Government is satisfied on all safety issues, the GSD supports the call by Gibraltar NASUWT to delay the opening of the new co-educational comprehensive schools. 

The GSD calls upon the Minister for Education to make a full statement on the readiness of schools immediately. Furthermore, the Minister should clarify rumours that health and safety certificates have still not been issued despite teachers being required to work in some areas of the new schools and that all necessary certification will be in place before any pupil walks into any new building.

Although we have for some time been hearing misgivings about the schools being unfit for purpose by the set opening date, the GSD has allowed the Government reasonable time to deliver the promised schools albeit with the customary School Year starting date already suffering two weeks delay.

GSD Shadow Minister for Education Edwin Reyes said: “Reports of teachers suffering personal injuries is unacceptable and we cannot expose pupils and staff to those dangers if school opens next week. Alongside agreeing with the Union President that the safety of their members is paramount, the safety of pupils must be ranked equally as important."

GSD Leader Keith Azopardi said:

“The safety of our children and teachers must be paramount. They cannot possibly go into the schools if they are not ready or there is any aspect that is unsafe. But if there is further delay and children’s schooling is affected then this fault lies at the Government’s door because of their obsessive, costly and electoral insistence in wanting to open the schools before the election."


Meanwhile, Together Gibraltar questions what they describe as the lack of health and safety standards currently being endured by teachers at the new Bayside and Westside school complexes. "We have been receiving reports of teachers having to work in substandard conditions, suffering power shortages and occasional short circuits. This situation is creating a precarious environment for all involved, and raising serious concerns about the future safety of both children and staff.

"Government is clearly using the completion of the schools as an electoral tool, trying to rush through campaign promises - potentially - at the expense of people’s safety. We have no option but to condemn this irresponsible conduct.

"We ask Government to confirm on what authority it has condoned teachers working in a building site and how it plans to ensure that they remain safe. We also ask Government to reconsider next week’s inauguration and to take the necessary time to complete the projects in a responsible manner, with the safety of staff and children as its top priority, regardless of electoral promises," they say.