Monday, 28 September 2009



Schools across Scotland are to be rebuilt by the SNP Government in a £1.25 billion programme.

The new building will include Lasswade High school in Midlothian, Wick High in Highland, Ellon and Mearns in Aberdeenshire, Harris Academy in Dundee and Garnock Academy in North Ayrshire.

These schools come on top of £2 billion of school rebuilding already underway and ahead of announcements of new primary schools in all local authorities.

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson has campaigned over the failure of previous administrations to rebuild Garnock Academy – he is also Deputy Convenor of the Parliament’s Education Committee. Welcoming the news Garnock Academy in North Ayrshire would be rebuilt by the SNP Government Mr Gibson said:

“The SNP is delivering where Labour and the Lib Dems have repeatedly failed.

“This new school will be incredibly welcome in the local community. Not only will North Ayrshire pupils get a new school but this project will provide much needed work for the construction industry, protecting jobs and the economy.

“It is only under an SNP Government that money has been put into this and it is only the SNP that will deliver this school in the public sector.”

“The SNP is building schools for Scotland’s children lifting thousands of our young people out of substandard school accommodation, and I hope all parties will welcome this investment.

SNP MSP Rob Gibson also welcomed the news of a new school for Wick Academy

“The SNP’s commitment to rebuild Wick academy and to give Highland children the school they deserve for the good quality education they already get is a monumental decision for the area and shows the commitment this Government has to Scotland’s children.

“Wick has long been in need of a new school and unfortunately neither the previous Government nor the local authority has provided one.

“Construction in the highlands has been hit by recession, just like the rest of the country and along with Scottish Government investment in housing and infrastructure this is a further investment to keep the industry going.”

Welcoming two new schools for the Lothians, Lasswade in Midlothian and James Gillespies in Edinburgh Lothians SNP MSP Dr Ian McKee added:

“In Midlothian and on the south side of Edinburgh there will be real enthusiasm for these new schools.

“Along with Edinburgh Council’s commitment to build Portobello high school the city is finally getting the secondary schools it deserves.

“Importantly the strategy for building these schools will ensure they are not just new, but they are good quality schools to bring real benefit to our young people.”

Commenting on the two new schools in Aberdeenshire North East MSP Maureen Watt said:

“This is excellent news for Aberdeenshire and I know pupils in Ellon and Mearns will welcome this announcement.

“Instead of making unsubstantiated scare stories about school building, as Iain Gray did over Ellon, the SNP are getting on with the job and building new schools for Scotland’s children.”

1. The full list of schools can be found at:



28 September 2009
Index Heading: Education and Lifelong Learning
Christina McKelvie (Central Scotland) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will provide an update on the action that it has taken following the publication in 2008 of the Audit Scotland report, Improving the school estate


Ms Fiona Hyslop :

I am pleased to announce that the Scottish Government and COSLA are launching a new School Estate Strategy Building Better Schools: Investing in Scotland’s Future today. Copies have been placed in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre
(Bib. Number
49305) and the document is available at:

Building Better Schools: Investing in Scotland’s Future represents the Scottish Government and COSLA’s agreed destination and route map to get the School Estate up to the standard which Audit Scotland set out in Improving the School Estate. It has been developed as a partnership between national and local government and we are jointly committed to continuing this partnership as we proceed with implementation. The Strategy has pupils at its centre and sets out the joint Government-COSLA target of achieving 90% of children being educated in good condition schools (condition A & B) with firm plans to lift the rest of pupils out of being educated in schools in conditions C & D.

I am also pleased to announce the 14 secondary schools will benefit from the new £1.25bn school building programme that will follow on from the current £2 billion of school investment that is being supported by the Government which are:

School Authority
Ellon Academy Aberdeenshire
Mearns Academy Aberdeenshire
Brechin High Angus
Dalbeattie High Dumfries & Galloway
Harris Academy Dundee
Eastwood High East Renfrewshire
James Gillespie's Edinburgh
Auchmuty High Fife
Wick High Highland
Lasswade High Midlothian
Garnock Academy North Ayrshire
Clyde Valley High North Lanarkshire
Ayr Academy South Ayrshire
Dumbarton Academy West Dunbartonshire

As I have previously set out to Parliament (Col 19247) we have engaged with COSLA, councils and the Scottish Futures Trust to identify the 14 schools and have taken into account the distribution of needs throughout Scotland; the best available information about schools' condition and unsuitability to deliver the curriculum for excellence; additionality; and authorities' plans and priorities and readiness to proceed.

We have also agreed with COSLA that we would accelerate the primary school announcement and that the same criteria will be used to identify these schools. We anticipate that all councils will benefit from the first tranches of the school building programme.

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