£1bn investment for Scottish schools

The Scottish Government said it will invest a further £1 billion in rebuilding and refurbishing schools.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the new funding, which will kick in from 2021 when the current school building programme ends, will benefit around 50,000 pupils.

“The fund will deliver digitally enabled, low-carbon schools and campuses providing benefits to pupils and the local economy,” said the Scottish Government.

“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 COSLA 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, 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 benefitting 60,000 pupils by March 2020.

“We will keep up the momentum of improvements in education facilities throughout Scotland.”

COSLA’s Children and Young People Spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “I am pleased that this investment will be developed in partnership with COSLA.

“It is vitally important that we get this right and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that we do.

“All of our children and young people deserve to be taught in the best possible facilities to enhance the learning and teaching experience and it is vital that we work together to make this opportunity work for every pupil in every community.”

A total of £1.8 billion has been invested in the Scottish school estate since 2009 through the Schools for the Future programme, comprising £1.13 billion of Scottish Government funding and £665 million from councils.