Labour Needs to Go Back to School as Building Numbers Don't Add Up

In March Jackie Baillie claimed Labour had built a school a week over the last eight years, in October Wendy Alexander said Labour had built over 300 new schools and in the motion for today's debate Labour claim to have built 200 schools in the last four years.

In fact, the previous Government built only 110 schools from 2003 - 2007 and only 63 from 1999 - 2003.

Ms McKelvie, a member of the Parliament's Education committee said;

"It looks like Labour needs to go back to school. 

"It shouldn't be that difficult to count the number of new schools that have been built in the last eight years, or even the last four.

"Far from building 200 schools between 2003 - 2007 the previous Executive built only 110 schools, just over half the amount they now claim. 

"They are even less keen to talk about the £11.26 billion of debt local authorities now owe as a result of expensive PFI/PPP arrangements used to build those schools that will tie up local authority finances for years to come."

ENDS

Notes

1. Rhona Brankin 200 since 2003?: "...further notes that the previous administration built 200 schools between 2003 and 2007..." (Debate's motion, Tuesday 29th January 2008)

2. Wendy Alexander 300 since 2003 : "Let me come armed with the facts and figures, which are that the previous Government built in excess of 300 new schools" (FMQ's - 4 October 2007)

3. Andy Kerr 8 X 52 = 416 since 1999? "Under Labour, a school was built every week--a new school opened every week--" (SP Official report, 4 October 2007. Col 2454)

4. Jackie Baillie 8 X 52 = 416 since 1999? : " ...Labour is building a new school every week, and soon a new school will be built every five days." (SP Official Report 29 March 2007)

5. The Reality

Total number of schools built in Scotland between 2003 and 2007 is 110. Table below shows newly built schools and refurbished school in Scotland since 1999

NEW SCHOOL BUILDINGS, 1999 - 2007

1999 4
2000 14
2001 17
2002 28
2003 14
2004 16
2005 11
2006 53
2007 16
TOTAL 2003-2007  110
TOTAL 1999-2007  173

Source: Scottish Government figures released under the FOI Act in 21 November 2007.

6.  Total PPP School costs for local authorities £11.26 billion Source: S3W-3715 - Jamie Hepburn (Central Scotland) (SNP) (28 August 2007 - 11 September 2007)

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