SCHOOLS in Sauchie were able to open as normal on Monday despite a fire over the weekend.

Councillors have praised the emergency services and council officers for their efforts following a fire at Deerpark PS and Lochies School on the night of Saturday, June 5.

Thankfully, the fire caused limited damage and no-one was in the building at the time.

Cllr Graham Lindsay, education spokesperson, said: "I was really disappointed to hear about the fire at Deerpark and Lochies, but pleased to hear that the schools were able to open on Monday as normal thanks to everyone's efforts.

"I think, during this pandemic, we've all realised just how important school buildings are to our children, families and communities.

"This is especially true for Lochies, where pupils have severe and complex additional support needs.

"Clearly those responsible can't have thought about the potential impact their actions could have had."

Donna Wheater, Lochies headteacher, reiterated Cllr Lindsay's thanks to those involved in making sure children returned to school as normal on Monday.

She added: "This was a worrying event for the whole school community, but thanks to the swift actions of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Clackmannanshire Council staff there has been minimal damage.

"We are extremely thankful that none of our teaching spaces or areas that our children access have been damaged.

"Police Scotland and Clackmannanshire Council have been working closely and extensively together for some time to keep both schools as secure as possible."

A Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed enquiries were ongoing to determine the cause of the fire.

The spokesperson said: "At around 8.05pm on Saturday, June 5, officers were called to a report of a fire at a school in Gartmorn Road, Sauchie.

"Officers are working with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to establish the cause of the fire at this time."

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson added: "Operations Control mobilised two appliances and firefighters extinguished the fire.

"There were no reported casualties and crews left after ensuring the area was made safe."

Lochies Parent Council said they were relieved children were able to access all areas of Lochies on Monday.

A statement read: "Lochies Parent Council members were kept up to date on developments on Saturday evening by the headteacher.

"Our thanks go to Fire Scotland, Clackmannanshire Council and the local community for their swift actions and response."