The SNP Government will invest a further £1,000 million in rebuilding and refurbishing schools, Education Secretary John Swinney MSP has announced.
The new funding, which will kick in from 2021 when the current school building programme ends, will benefit around 50,000 pupils, in addition to the 60,000 who will see their schools renewed or refurbished by the end of this Parliament.
The fund will deliver digitally enabled, low-carbon schools and campuses providing benefits to pupils and the local economy. The design of schools will ensure they are inclusive and welcoming places that meet the needs of all who use them.
New investment models to support the scheme will be developed in partnership with the Convention of Local Authorities and councils, with decisions on which schools will benefit focused on those in the poorest condition. It is expected that partnership design and development work will begin next year.
Speaking at the Education Buildings Scotland conference in Edinburgh, Mr Swinney said:
"Every pupil should have the best support throughout their education, which includes access to high-quality, up-to-date facilities that parents, staff and children can be proud of.
"This further £1 billion investment will build on the progress already made by the existing Schools for the Future Programme and drive further improvements in the learning estate from 2021.
"We have worked closely with local authorities since 2009 and will deliver 117 new school projects benefiting 60,000 pupils by March 2020. We will keep up the momentum of improvements in education facilities throughout Scotland."
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“A total of £1.8 billion has been invested in the school estate since 2009 through the Schools for the Future programme, comprising £1.13 billion of SNP Government funding and £665 million from councils.
“Pupils and communities in North Ayrshire benefit from this funding on a daily basis. The new, state of the art Largs Campus and Garnock Campus would not have been built without £25.3 million and £18.8 million of SNP Government funding respectively.
“All local authorities are being given the opportunity to suggest a new school project to be delivered in their area. The SNP Group at North Ayrshire Council is currently doing what it can to ensure the Council this time round puts forward proposals for a new Ardrossan Academy, which I strongly support.”