Kenneth Gibson MSP has highlighted figures showing the SNP Government’s strong record on rebuilding and refurbishing Scotland’s school estate, with more pupils across Scotland returning to school this week in buildings suited to a modern learning environment.
The total number of schools rebuilt or refurbished under the SNP between 2008 and 2016 stands at 651, more than double than in the period between 1999 and 2007 under the Labour/Lib Dem coalition, which rebuilt or refurbished 308 schools.
The SNP manifesto launched ahead of the 2016 Scottish elections reaffirmed the party’s commitment to providing children and teachers with the best possible environment in which to learn. The exemplary record the SNP Government holds on building and refurbishing schools shows it can be trusted to build upon this success.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson said:
“As pupils across North Ayrshire head back to school this Thursday, some reflecting on their recent exam results, it is encouraging to know that thousands will be doing so in new or refurbished schools.
"Having secured the funding for the new £43 million Garnock Community Campus I was delighted that it opened to staff and pupils on 10 January. I look forward to the opening of Largs Community Campus, an even greater investment at £51 million, at the end of this year.
“These figures highlight the importance the SNP places on providing both pupils and teachers with the very best learning environment. A modern, accessible and welcoming school building can make a real difference to pupils’ attainment and to the performance of staff.
“The SNP’s manifesto promised to build on the success of our Schools for the Future programme, which delivered these rebuilds and refurbishments. The sustainability and efficiency of our schools is also vitally important to ensuring our pupils and teachers are able to work in positive and modern buildings.
“As First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP made clear, education is the absolute priority of the SNP Government. I’m delighted to see more work being done to improve our school estate, to ensure the new or refurbished schools that pupils are returning to are top of the class."
All data was sourced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).
The SNP 2016 Manifesto stated:
"No child should have to learn in a school that is in poor or bad condition. Modern, accessible buildings help create the right environment for children to learn and teachers to work in. In the next Parliament, we will bring forward new proposals to build upon the success of Our School for the Future programme which rebuilt or refurbished 607 schools – almost a quarter of the school estate – between 2007 and 2015. We will also work to ensure that our schools are sustainably built, refurbished and maintained and are world-leading in energy efficiency.”