A project which saw the SNP Government provide £1,130 million - with local authorities contributing a further £665 million - to build 117 new schools benefitting tens of thousands of pupils has been completed.
Over the last ten years, at least one new school project has been delivered in every council area, in addition to local authorities’ own school improvement programmes, including Garnock Community Campus and Largs Academy here in north Ayrshire.
The percentage of schools in good or satisfactory condition has increased from 60.9% to 89.9% since the SNP came to office on April 2007.
Over the duration of the next 2021-2026 Scottish Parliament, the SNP Government – if re-elected – will deliver a new £2 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme, managed on its behalf by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), which will include a new Ardrossan Academy.
Education Secretary John Swinney MSP said:
“Over the last decade, we have worked with councils across Scotland to invest and improve the condition of our entire learning estate. In doing so, thousands of pupils have benefited from being educated in state-of-the-art facilities, making their school life more pleasant. Teachers also value being able to work in modern, high quality facilities.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“These 117 schools are at the heart of their communities, which is why SNP Government investment has been absolutely essential. Looking forward, we will continue our successful partnership with local authorities beyond this milestone to build more schools delivered through the new £2 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme.
“Gone are the bad old days of Tory/Labour Private Finance Initiatives which cost local authorities five times the construction cost. For example, Labour controlled NAC paying nearly £400 million from 2007 to 2037 for four schools with a construction cost of only £81 million and which the council won’t even own at the end of the 30 year payment period!”
Gemma Boggs, who leads the education infrastructure programmes at the SFT said:
“The success of the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme is the result of an enormous collaborative effort right across Scotland, working with countless partners and organisations to improve the school estate. The programme has supported advances in teaching and learning practice, brought communities together, engendered collaboration within and between the public sector and its delivery partners, and fundamentally has inspired learning.”