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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 06:15 GMT
Schools benefit from private cash
Construction site
Schools in nine council areas will be rebuilt
Scotland's schools are set to benefit from the second stage of a 2bn drive to rebuild or modernise crumbling stock.

Education Minister Cathy Jamieson said the 750m package of public private partnerships (PPPs) would provide school building improvements in nine council areas.

It follows last year's first phase which brought new or refurbished schools to 15 local authorities.

Schools across Aberdeen, Angus, Clackmannanshire, East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross, and Stirling councils will benefit.

Pupils deserve to learn in modern classrooms
Cathy Jamieson
Education Minister

Public private partnerships mean that private companies carry out the work on behalf of the council and are paid back over a period of up to 30 years.

Ms Jamieson said: "It is simply unacceptable that at present there are some school buildings which are not meeting the needs of pupils and teachers in the 21st century.

"That is why we are taking action to address the legacy of under-investment in school buildings.

"Pupils deserve to learn in modern classrooms and teachers deserve to work in well-designed, well-equipped buildings."

Fourteen local authorities submitted bids for the second phase of investment and the Scottish Executive is offering PPP cash to nine of those.

'Desperate' move

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) welcomed the announcement, but called on the executive to commit to "sustainable, additional long-term funding".

Cosla's education spokeswoman Helen Law said: "Such major investment is very welcome and it is essential that flexibility is given to the nine successful councils to address their local needs on a best value basis."

Scottish National Party education spokesman Mike Russell said the drive smacked of "desperation" by Labour ahead of the election.

"It also indicates the extent of Labour's failure in that so much needs to be done to make our schools fit for the 21st century," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Choice urged over schools funding
12 Jun 02 |  Scotland


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