117 new Scottish schools built in £1.8bn investment

The Scottish Government said the project which saw it provide £1.13 billion — with local authorities contributing £665 million — to build 117 new schools in Scotland has been completed.

It said Lossiemouth High School in Moray, the 117th and last school in the Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme has been handed over to the local council and will open to pupils in April after the Easter break.

“Over the last 10 years at least one new school project has been delivered in every council area, in addition to local authorities’ own school improvement programmes,” said the Scottish Government.

“School Estates 2020 statistics show that the proportion of schools reported as being in good or satisfactory condition has increased to 89.9%, up 1.6% over the last year and 29% since April 2007.”

Over the duration of the next Scottish Parliament, a new £2 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme will be managed on behalf of the Scottish Government by the Scottish Futures Trust.

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “In the last 10 years, we have worked in tandem with councils across the country to invest significant funding to 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 facilities that are fit for purpose.

“As illustrated by the latest available statistics, more children than ever before are being taught in good or satisfactory buildings.

“We have taken great strides to ensure our school buildings are modern and of high quality and make a real difference for pupils and teachers.

“These schools are at the heart of their communities which is why our 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.”

Gemma Boggs, who leads the education infrastructure programmes at the Scottish Futures Trust, said:  “The success of the Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme is the result of an enormous collaborative effort right across Scotland.

“As programme managers, we have worked with countless partners and organisations to improve the condition of the school estate.

“The programme has supported advances in teaching and learning practice, it has brought communities together, it has engendered collaboration within and between the public sector and its delivery partners, and fundamentally it has inspired learning.

“From the early stages of programme development to completion, SFT is extremely proud to have played its part in reaching this significant milestone.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.