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Fri September 20 2019

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Scotland embarks on £1bn schools investment plan

9 Sep The Scottish government has set out plans to replace 26 schools in the first phase of a £1bn investment programme.

It will contribute funding of between £220m and £275m in partnership with local authorities across the country to replace the 26 schools, with a further phase of investment to be announced within 12 months. The first projects could open by 2022-23.

Scottish Futures Trust will manage the programme on behalf of the Scottish government.

Several of the projects bring together nurseries, schools, colleges and universities in multi-purpose campuses for pupils aged from three to 18, with additional facilities that benefit surrounding communities.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon, Education secretary John Swinney and COSLA spokesperson for resources Councillor Gail Macgregor launched the strategy alongside projects at Peterhead Academy, one of four Aberdeenshire schools being replaced in this phase.

“This additional £1 billion investment will benefit around 50,000 pupils across Scotland, with the first phase set to upgrade and modernise schools across 11 of our local authority areas,” said Sturgeon. “This investment builds on the progress that we have made over the last 10 years. The National Statistics published today reveal that, even before today’s announcement, Scotland’s school estate has never been in better condition, with a record percentage in good or satisfactory condition. That is a result of sustained investment and we will now build on that.

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“Modern, state of the art buildings can make a real difference to the lives of pupils, teachers and parents, as well as the wider communities they serve. This investment continues our efforts to improve the condition of our entire learning estate, from early years through to schools and colleges.”

Swinney said: “The progress made through Scotland’s Schools for the Future has had a significant impact on the condition of schools across the country - almost 90% of pupils are learning in schools in good or satisfactory condition.

“We are committed to making even more progress and I have seen myself the urgency with which some schools require updating. The first phase of the £1 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme prioritises schools in need of updating or where there are significant capacity issues, as identified by local authorities, to ensure rapid progress where most required."

The £1bn Learning Estate Investment Programme was announced in November 2018.

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