A SECOND local authority has confirmed that defects were found in secondary schools built under the controversial public private partnership (PPP) funding model.

One of the schools run by South Lanarkshire council, Trinity High, had a similar structural problem that triggered high-profile closures in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Council recently shut 17 schools built under PPP funding due to safety concerns, a measure affecting thousands of pupils.

The scandal in the capital started after a wall collapsed at Oxgangs Primary after it took a battering during Storm Gertrude.

Inspections on other sites found missing header and wall ties and the schools were shut.

Critics said the defects were linked to the PPP deal, whereby contractors build schools and hospitals within a limited time frame and recoup the costs over decades.

The Edinburgh schools PPP will reportedly cost the taxpayer £529 million in cash terms by 2032 – more than double the publicly-declared figure.

Supporters of conventional funding mechanisms for infrastructure projects believe PPP can result in contractors cutting corners by keeping their costs low and to increase profit margins.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that Trinity High in Rutherglen – which has around 1,000 enrolled pupils – was found to have had missing wall ties in January 2012.

The defect was found during an inspection after bad weather damaged the building and the council’s wider school estate was then examined.

The wall tie problem was confined to Trinity, but an issue with bracket heads at Duncanrig Secondary in East Kilbride was also identified during the probe.

The council used PPP to overhaul 17 secondary schools at a cost of £318m. However, the two authorities used different contractors.

In South Lanarkshire, the secondaries were built by Morgan Ashhurst, now called Morgan Sindall.

Miller Construction, which was bought by Galliford Try, was the contractor in Edinburgh.

A council source said further structural checks were made at schools across South Lanarkshire after the problems in Edinburgh emerged, but no issues were found.

Andy Wightman, a Scottish Green Party MSP, said: “When the Edinburgh schools fiasco became public I called for a root-and-branch review of these PFI projects. The First Minister has agreed with the need for a thorough inquiry and my Green colleagues on Edinburgh City Council are keeping up the pressure for that to happen.

“To hear that similar problems with school buildings have been faced elsewhere in Scotland adds to the need for a thorough inquiry. I would urge Scottish ministers to consider a wider review so that lessons are learned for future construction projects.”

Jim Gilhooly, executive director of education resources at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “During a period of exceptionally strong winds four years ago damage occurred at two of our secondary schools while the schools were closed for the festive break.

“This resulted in repairs being undertaken. As a precaution, thorough structural checks were also carried out by independent structural engineers at the two schools and at the other 15 secondary schools, but these identified no significant issues.

“In line with protocols in such cases, the damage and the repairs were reported to the Health and Safety Executive.”

A Morgan Sindall spokesperson said: “During a period of high winds in 2012, some damage occurred to a wall panel on Trinity High School. However, this damage did not occur as a result of missing wall ties. Subsequent repair work and full investigations across all school buildings constructed under this contract revealed no significant issues.”