Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands has warmly welcomed the inclusion of a new Wick High School in the new £1.25 billion school building programme announced by the Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop. As one of 14 secondaries included, it is the recognition that years of neglect is at last being corrected.
"The SNP government has inherited a mountain of long overdue dilapidated schools. Recognising that Wick High School is a top priority shows concern for our children's school environment reaches all parts of the country where some school buildings have been long past acceptability."
"People in Caithness have been making a strong case. The SNP Government has listened and is now pledged to build a new Wick High School. Even in these times of recession schooling is a key part of our future and Wick High School has a key part to educate children whose prospects are also buoyed by the marine renewable energy revolution in the Pentland Firth. The first step to building young people's confidence in the place they come from is a modern school campus. Many more have to be modernised but Wick High School is the top priority."
28 September 2009
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: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Education/Schools/Buildings/commitments.
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:
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.