NICOLA Sturgeon has unveiled a £230 million funding boost to help build or refurbish 19 schools across Scotland by the end of the decade.
The First Minister made the announcement during a visit to Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr yesterday as the SNP leader seeks to put education at the centre of the Holyrood election campaign, which has entered its last 100 days.
More than 6,500 pupils are set to benefit from the work which is part of the final phase of the £1.8 billion Schools for the Future programme. In total, 112 schools have been delivered.
The First Minister said: “This ambitious plan will replace older schools across the country with new, modern buildings that will bring benefits to the whole community.
“We had planned to build or refurbish 55 schools across Scotland, these new schools now take the total to 112 – more than double our original target. Since 2007, we have worked with local authorities to rebuild or refurbish 607 schools, resulting in the number of children educated in ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ condition schools falling by 60 per cent.”
An estimated 11,000 construction jobs and 230 apprenticeship placements have already been secured by the project.
The 19 schools to be rebuilt or refurbished include Inverurie Academy in Aberdeenshire, along with Hayshead Primary School, Muirfield Primary School and Ladyloan Primary School in Angus. Abercromby Primary School in Clackmannanshire, St Agatha’s Primary School in East Dunbartonshire, Wallyford Primary School in East Lothian, Edinburgh’s Queensferry Community High School and Mariner Support Service in Falkirk will also benefit. In Glasgow, both Blairdardie Primary School and Carntyne Primary School get funding, along with Alness Academy in Highland, Inverclyde’s Kilmacolm Primary, Moray’s Lossiemouth High and Cumbernauld Academy in North Lanarkshire. Elsewhere, Renfrewshire’s St Fergus Primary, Queen Margaret Academy, Burnside Primary in South Lanarkshire and St Margaret’s Primary School in Stirling benefit.
Teaching union the EIS said there has been years of under-investment in Scotland’s schools and welcomed the announcement.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said: “There is much work still to be done to ensure that all pupils and teachers are working in up-to-date, modern buildings.”