Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Monday, 28 September 2009 14:43 UK

School rebuilding plans detailed

generic classroom
The first primary schools to benefit will be unveiled by the end of the year

The first 14 secondary schools to be rebuilt under a £1.25bn programme have been announced by the Scottish government.

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said more than 12,000 pupils would benefit from the new school buildings.

But opposition parties said the announcement came after two years of waiting, and was "too little too late".

Details of the first primaries to benefit from the scheme will be unveiled before the end of the year.

A total of 55 schools will be rebuilt with £800m from the Scottish government, and an extra £450m from councils.

None of these schools will be completed in the lifetime of this parliament
Iain Gray
Scottish Labour leader

Some projects will be supported by the government's Scottish Futures Trust alternative to PPP/PFI tie-ups with the private sector - which has been criticised by opposition parties.

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop said new and refurbished schools would be delivered faster over the SNP's four-year term in government than the previous Labour-Lib Dem administration.

"This government and local authorities are already on track to lift 100,000 school pupils, by 2011, out of tired and crumbling school buildings and classrooms and providing them with cutting-edge accommodation and facilities in which to continue their 21st century education," she said.

But Scottish Labour Leader Iain Gray said the Scottish Futures trust had failed, leaving many councils to it alone on school building and refurbishments.

Ellon Academy, Aberdeenshire
Mearns Academy, Aberdeenshire
Brechin High, Angus
Dalbeattie High, Dumfries and Galloway
Harris Academy, Dundee
Eastwood High, East Renfrewshire
James Gillespie's, Edinburgh
Auchmuty High, Fife
Wick High, Highland
Lasswade High, Midlothian
Garnock Academy, North Ayrshire
Clyde Valley High, North Lanarkshire
Ayr Academy, South Ayrshire
Dumbarton Academy, West Dunbartonshire

"This announcement is far too little and far too late," he said, adding: "Scotland was promised a raft of new schools by the SNP but all we get are 14 schools with the 'promise' of more to come. None of these schools will be completed in the lifetime of this parliament."

Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith said the announcement was more of a "wish list" than a detailed programme.

"Alex Salmond's SNP government must now apologise to the pupils, parents and teachers of Scotland for two years of inactivity, two years in which the construction industry has been crying out for this work to offset the effects of Labour's recession," she said.

Echoing the concerns, the Liberal Democrats' Margaret Smith added: "After two years of total paralysis in school building and planning, the SNP is now rushing to get some token bricks built by polling day.

"Most of the children studying in crumbling buildings will have left school before any improvements are made."

Among the 14 schools included in the first phase are Wick High, Mearns Academy and Ellon Academy in Aberdeenshire, Ayr Academy and Dalbeattie High in Dumfries and Galloway.

The others are Brechin High in Angus, Harris Academy in Dundee, Eastwood High in East Renfrewshire, James Gillespie's in Edinburgh, Auchmuty High in Fife, Garnock Academy in North Ayrshire, Clyde Valley High in North Lanarkshire and Dumbarton Academy.

They were selected partly because of their "unsuitability" to deliver modern education, and after consultation between the Scottish government, council group COSLA and the Scottish Futures Trust.

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