Nicola Sturgeon hails 751 schools built or refurbished under SNP government

Nicola Sturgeon (Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire)

MORE than 750 schools have either been built or refurbished since the SNP came to power 11 years ago, the Scottish Government has said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that as well as providing “enormous benefits” for schoolchildren, the work had boosted communities across Scotland.

She spoke as ministers completed three official opening ceremonies, with Ms Sturgeon at the new Largs Academy building in Ayr – part of a campus that has benefited from £25.3 million of cash from the government’s Schools for the Future fund.

Education Secretary John Swinney formally opened Dundee’s new Baldragon Academy – which received £19.5 million – while Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville opened the new Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh after £17.2 million of work.

Since 2007 a total of 751 schools have either been built or refurbished, the government said.

Over that period the number of school buildings that are in a good or satisfactory condition has increased from 61% to 85%.

A total of £1.8 billion has been invested through the Schools for the Future programme, with some £1.13 billion coming from the Scottish government and £665 million from local councils.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I am delighted to officially open the tremendous new Largs Campus buildings. It’s clear to see that the pupils and staff are all enjoying and benefiting from their new learning environment.

“This is just the latest of the long list of schools now rebuilt or refurbished, with a hat-trick of High Schools open today. That’s a reflection of the importance of education as this Government’s number one priority.

“What’s more, not only do these new schools provide enormous benefits for the education of our children and young people, they also help the local economy with jobs and apprenticeship opportunities during construction, and will serve the wider community now that they are open.”