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.
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?
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.
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.