120,000 Pupils Benefit as School Rebuilding Target Exceeded

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Over 300 schools have been rebuilt of refurbished in the first three years of the SNP’s term in Government, exceeding the Scottish Government’s target of 250.

Statistics published today show that a total of 303 schools have been substantially rebuilt or refurbished since April 2007.


Over 300 schools have been rebuilt of refurbished in the first three years of the SNP’s term in Government, exceeding the Scottish Government’s target of 250.

Statistics published today show that a total of 303 schools have been substantially rebuilt or refurbished since April 2007.

At the 2007 election the SNP promised to build at least 250 schools, matching Labour plans “brick for brick”.  That target has been greatly exceeded as over 120,000 extra children now receive their education in good quality class rooms.

When Labour left office in 2007 official figures indicated that a quarter of a million children were in poor or bad quality classrooms.  Today’s figures also show that 82 per cent of Scottish school children are now being taught in good quality buildings, up from 61 per cent over the same period.

More than half the schools – 170 in total – have been delivered through traditional capital funding or Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) schemes.

Education Secretary Michael Russell said:

“Today’s statistics are excellent news for Scottish school pupils. With 303 school projects completed in three years, we have far exceeded our commitment to match, brick for brick, the 250 schools which the previous administration pledged to rebuild or refurbish.

“What’s more, 170 of these 303 schools – more than half – have been delivered through traditional capital funding and not-for-profit schemes, not the discredited, expensive PFI scheme.

“As a result, we now have 82 per cent of our school pupils in buildings rated as good or satisfactory, an increase of over 120,000 pupils in the last three years and a significant jump towards our 90 per cent target.

“The number of pupils being taught in buildings in the worst condition has dramatically decreased to one per cent. I am determined to see further reductions and we will continue work with local authorities to deliver high quality school facilities across Scotland.

“Through the £1.25 billion Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme, we are providing support to build another 55 new schools across the whole of Scotland to provide even more top class accommodation. My ministerial colleague Keith Brown will mark the start of work on the first of these, at Pumpherston and Uphall Station Primary, in West Lothian tomorrow.

“The introduction of Curriculum for Excellence will ensure our school pupils are in an excellent position to succeed in the modern world, but it is also important that they are taught in the right environment. The continued investment in school buildings will ensure this is the case across the country.”

SNP MSP and Education Committee member Christina McKelvie added:

“In 2007 voters backed the SNP’s promise to build or refurbish 250 schools and we have exceeded that target for Scotland’s children with 303 new or refurbished school buildings in the last three years.

“Labour left over a quarter of a million children in poor or bad quality schools. We know that better school buildings mean more opportunities for our children and better conditions for our teachers. That is why the SNP will not stop at 303 schools but will continue to see more schools built this year.

“I am particularly pleased that we have broken the pattern of private finance profiting from Scotland’s school buildings. With more schools built or refurbished in the last three years through traditional capital or non profit finance schemes Labour’s plans to allow the private sector to profit from our school buildings have been firmly put into touch.”

However Labour have claimed that no credit should go to the SNP and have insisted that all of the builds and refurbishments were either as a result of measures they put in place whilst in office or are the result of steps taken by local authorities.

Scotland’s school estate is continuing to improve with only one per cent of pupils now in schools in the worst condition category and 82 per cent of pupils now in schools in good or satisfactory condition.

More than 50,000 pupils are in schools of condition C or D that currently have plans in place or building projects underway to improve the condition of the school to A or B

Of the 303 schools rebuilt or refurbished in the last three years, funding breaks down:

  • 152 by traditional capital routes
  • 18 were funded by NPD
  • 133 were funded by PFI