Pledge to halve number in crumbling schools

The number of pupils taught in crumbling school buildings will be halved by the next SNP Government, Education Secretary Michael Russell said today (Sunday) as he highlighted figures showing the numbers had already been halved in the party’s first term of office.

Official National Statistics figures published by the Scottish Government show:

• In 2007, there were 256,794 pupils in schools officially recorded as in ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ condition.

• The latest figures for 2010, show that the number has fallen by 137,606 – a 53% reduction – to 119,188.

Speaking to delegates at the SNP Spring Conference in Glasgow, Mr Russell said:

“Labour and the Liberals left a legacy of one quarter of a million pupils in crumbling school buildings. Despite a decade of rising budgets, two-hundred and fifty thousand pupils were left in schools officially categorised as ‘poor’ or ‘bad’.

“Since 2007, we have halved the number of pupils in sub-standard schools. We’ve done this by investing in our buildings and, by election day, we will have delivered 330 new or refurbished schools. That is a record we can be rightly proud of.

“Despite the massive cuts imposed on Scotland, we will not stop there. In the next term, we will again halve the number of pupils in poor or bad school buildings. And we will do this without using Labour’s discredited PFI scheme.

“Over the last four years we have worked hard to make Scotland’s schools better.  Re-electing an SNP Government will see our achievements protected and that work, to make our school buildings better continue with Alex Salmond as First Minister and a strong Scottish Government working for Scotland.”

Background

National Statistics figures on the number of pupils in ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ condition can be found here.