Schools (Repairs)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 10th March 2011.

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Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party

6. To ask the Scottish Government how many children were being educated in schools classed as in need of repair in May 2007 and how many are now. (S3O-13269)

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

In April 2007, there were nearly 257,000 children being educated in schools in condition categories C or D. By April 2010, there were fewer than 120,000 children in such schools, which is a reduction of more than 135,000. That has been possible because 330 school building projects have been completed since May 2007: that is more in the past four years than the previous two Administrations managed in the past eight years.

I have arranged for a list of the 330 school projects to be placed in the Scottish Parliament information centre; the bib number is 52569.

Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party

Does the minister agree that the Scottish Government’s commitment to refurbishing and rebuilding hundreds of our schools has created a more positive learning experience for our young people, and that future projects such as the new Garnock academy in my constituency, which will be built with the help of £18.8 million in Scottish Government funding, will benefit thousands of Scots schoolchildren for generations to come?

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

Yes, absolutely. I am delighted to say that this Administration is spending more on school buildings and refurbishment, and that we are doing it faster and more effectively for the public purse. I am pleased that the constituency member has acknowledged the good work that is going on in relation to Garnock academy.

Photo of Des McNulty Des McNulty Labour

Will the minister confirm that £18.8 million in capital funding is still available for Garnock academy? When will that funding be available? The original plan was that it would be available in 2013-14. Is that still the year in which that capital funding will be available?

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

I am very aware from discussions with my colleague Kenneth Gibson that there has been a lot of politically motivated scaremongering with regard to Garnock academy. Let me reassure Mr McNulty that this Government’s pledge is firmly in place and that we will meet every penny of the £18.8 million funding, which will be delivered on time to ensure construction in 2013-14, despite Westminster’s savage cuts in capital budgets.