SNP hails new schools… that won't be built during current parliament

NO NEW school will be built in Scotland before the next election, it has been claimed, despite a Scottish Government announcement on a timetable for replacing crumbling campuses.

Around 18,000 pupils will benefit from 300 million being invested in new school buildings, the Scottish Government said yesterday. But political opponents claimed the news was an "embarrassing" repeat of a previous announcement.

Yesterday, a timetable for when 35 schools across Scotland would be rebuilt was unveiled, with construction on the first schools due to begin later this year.

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The first primary is expected to be completed by 2011 and the first secondary by 2013. However, critics said the SNP government had wasted the last three years and the party could lose next year's election before the first school is finished.

Des McNulty, Labour education spokesman, said: "Scotland was promised a raft of new schools by the SNP – today's announcement shows the bankruptcy of their ambition. None of the schools announced today will be completed in the lifetime of this parliament."

The Scottish Parliament elections are due to take place next May. He said the deal, which will see councils pay a share of construction costs, would leave local authorities short-changed.

And he accused the Scottish Futures Trust, set up to replace Labour's PPP funding system, of being a waste of money. He said: "The Scottish Futures Trust is a huge white elephant – money that could have been better spent on funding desperately needed new schools."

The plans revealed central government will pay 67 per cent of the costs of secondary schools with local authorities providing the remaining 33 per cent. Primary school projects will be funded on a 50-50 basis.

In total, the Scottish Government will provide 800m of the total 1.25 billion schools building programme, called "Scotland's Schools for the Future".

The announcement has been made now after the funding deal was agreed with councils. Schools minister Keith Brown described the plan as "affordable and realistic" despite the current squeeze on public spending.

Mr Brown said: "We have already lifted over 110,000 pupils from schools in poor condition, reversing the trend of under-investment and neglect in Scotland's school estate."

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He said the latest tranche would see a further 18,000 pupils and more than 1,300 teachers move to fit-for-purpose, modern learning facilities that meet the needs of education in the 21st century.

Margaret Smith, Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman, said: "Building hasn't even started yet. Children will be lucky if their school is built before the SNP leave office.

"The Scottish Futures Trust has been a major disappointment and the SNP have completely failed to keep their school building promise."

Liz Smith, Conservative schools spokeswoman, said: "It is nothing short of a disgrace that the SNP tried to package this up as a new announcement."

New school timetable

&149 Aberdeen City: Bucksburn / Newhills Primaries – 2011-12

&149 Aberdeenshire: Ellon Academy; Mearns Academy – 2012-13

• Angus: Brechin High School – 2013-14

• Argyll & Bute: Dunoon / Kirn / St Mun's Primaries – 2013-14

• Clackmannanshire: St John's / Claremont Primaries – 2011-12

• Dumfries & Galloway: Dalbeattie High School – 2013-14

• Dundee: Harris Academy – 2013-14

• East Ayrshire: Gargieston Primary – 2011-12

• East Dunbartonshire: Lairdsland Primary – 2013-14

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• East Lothian: Haddington Infants / St Mary's Primary – 2011-12

• East Renfrewshire: Eastwood High School – 2011-12

• Edinburgh: James Gillespie's High School – 2014-15

• Eilean Siar (Western Isles: Daliburgh Primary – 2011-12

• Falkirk: RC primary school, yet to be named – 2010-11

• Fife: Auchmuty High School – 2012-13

&149 Glasgow: Garrowhill Primary – 2010-11; Glendale Primary – 2012-13 St Brendan's Primary – 2013-14

• Highland: Wick High School – 2012-13

• Inverclyde: Lilybank / Glenburn Schools – 2012-13

• Midlothian: Lasswade High School – 2011-12

• Moray: Milnes Primary – 2013-14

• North Ayrshire: Garnock Academy – 2013-14

• North Lanarkshire: Clyde Valley High School – 2014-15

• Orkney: Evie Primary – 2013-14

• Perth & Kinross: Invergowrie Primary – 2011-12

• Renfrewshire: St James's Primary – 2012-13

• Scottish Borders: Duns Primary – 2013-14

• Shetland: Happyhansel Primary – 2013/14

• South Ayrshire: Ayr Academy – 2014/15

• South Lanarkshire: Spittal Primary – 2011/12

• Stirling: Riverside Primary – 2011/12