RENEWED safety fears over school buildings have sparked calls for councils to take back control over construction of all future projects.

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA), said private companies could no longer be trusted after a series of “worrying” incidents.

His comments came after an investigation was launched following the closure of a new school campus in Dumfries on safety grounds.

The £28 million North West Community Campus was closed after a child was struck by a smart board which became detached from a wall.

The school was developed and built by contractor Graham through HUB South West - a public private partnership.

Before the school opened an error in fitting a sprinkler system was blamed for problems with a ceiling, while last month another pupil was struck by a door.

In 2016 safety failures forced 17 Edinburgh schools to close with a subsequent report highlighting a lack of proper scrutiny of the construction work.

Mr Searson said: “We should not be in a position where a new school is causing safety concerns.

“Schools need to be safe and proper checks should be made before teachers and pupils get anywhere near the classroom.”

“We should be bringing all of these school building contracts back into council ownership and get rid of the current model.”

The Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union also called for a shake-up.

Union members have previously raised concerns over the shift away from council-run construction to other models, such as private finance or not for profit trusts.

A spokesman said: “Injuries to pupils, although thankfully not severe, are inexcusable and should never have been allowed to happen.

“We have long questioned the quality of school buildings delivered through alternative funding methods.”

Following the school’s closure, Dumfries and Galloway chief executive Gavin Stevenson issued a public apology.

He said: “I am extremely angry and disappointed and I would apologise to the children, their parents, staff and the wider community.

“They should be celebrating their new building and actually we are having to close so it is an absolutely disappointing situation.”

He said the council had received “gold-plated assurances” over the building before it opened.

Contractors Graham said an investigation had revealed that the screen had been subjected to a “very high level of excessive force”, which caused it to separate from the bracket.

A spokesman added: “We have also examined the remaining 20 screens in the school and all are functioning normally, and in line with the strict tolerances and operational guidelines.”

Mr Stevenson confirmed there would be no schooling until Thursday for P1 to S3 pupils, who will instead receive free access to leisure facilities such as swimming and football coaching.

Senior pupils are being accommodated at two other secondary schools.