Funding Announced In Bid To Improve Scottish School Buildings

21 November 2018, 12:18 | Updated: 21 November 2018, 12:20

Empty classroom

Investment of £1 billion has been announced by the Scottish Government to help rebuild and refurbish schools in Scotland.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney made the announcement at the Education Buildings Scotland conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

The funding will apply from 2021 when the current school building programme ends.

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

The fund will aim to deliver digitally enabled, low-carbon schools and campuses providing benefits to pupils and the local economy.

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.

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 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 Spokesman, 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."