McConnell's Pledge To Children Rings Hollow

Jack McConnell's pledge in his acceptance speech as First Minister to put the future of Scotland's children first was shown to be hollow today (Tuesday) as SNP Shadow Education Minister Mr Michael Russell MSP published figures on Labour's record on school repairs.

With a backlog of almost one billion pounds of repairs, figures show that under Mr McConnell as Education Minister, only around one percent of the funds for repairs have been found. Mr Russell said:

"Jack McConnell's pledge to put Scotland's children first when he was elected First Minister rings very hollow in classrooms across Scotland. As Education Minister he was happy to stand by as our school buildings crumbled.

"We face a repairs backlog of almost one billion pounds, yet Jack McConnell has only paid out just over one percent of this figure to improve school buildings. These are not the actions of a man committed to investing in our children's future.

"Our education system has been neglected for decades and this is nowhere more obvious than in the appalling state of some of our school buildings. Every part of the country has run down schools in desperate need of repair. Leaking roofs, damp classrooms and semi-permanent 'huts' is not the environment in which children can best flourish.

"Under Jack McConnell, however, next to nothing has been done to address this. Parents across Scotland will not be fooled by his high-minded rhetoric. They see the true measure of the man every time they visit their children's dilapidated schools."

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