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Wednesday, 23 August, 2000, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Schools get keys to 'private' doors
Pupil reading
Pupils will enjoy a "modern learning environment"
Five new schools built with private money have been officially opened in Falkirk by Scotland's First Minister Donald Dewar.

A total of 65m has been spent on four new schools and rebuilding Larbert High School.

The project is part of the controversial Public Private Partnership scheme.

The consortium which has provided the funding and which has built and will run the school buildings, is called Class 98 Ltd. It comprises Ballast Wiltshier, Charterhouse and Quayle Munro.


Draughty windows, leaking roofs, faulty boilers and other structural difficulties should no longer be a problem for teachers or for pupils

Donald Dewar
Handing over the keys at Graeme High School, Mr Dewar said: "These new schools provide an environment that is right for modern learning.

"Teachers will be able to deliver quality education to the 5,000 or so pupils who will attend them.

"Importantly, teachers will be able to do so in the knowledge that the buildings will be maintained and cleaned to agreed quality standards.

"From this day on, draughty windows, leaking roofs, faulty boilers and other structural difficulties should no longer be a problem for teachers or for pupils."

Development stage

When signed, the Falkirk project was the UK's largest education PPP project.

East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City and Stirling Councils have all signed contracts to deliver new schools. Seven more authorities are at the development stage.

These projects will see the delivery of 78 new or refurbished schools over the next three or four years to serve the educational needs of some 63,000 Scottish children.

He announced that he was putting a further 5m on the table to encourage other local authorities to bring forward their plans to finance new schools in the same way.

Girl writing
Pupils will benefit, says Mr Dewar
Under the Falkirk scheme, Polmont gets it own High School for the first time, serving the many new homes which have been built there in the past 25 years.

Bo'ness Academy has been rebuilt and Larbert High School extended and refurbished.

Graeme High School which currently caters for about 1,500 pupils in a series of unsuitable buildings has moved into a new "state-of-the-art" building.

The new Carrongrange special school replaces the former Dawson Park Special School in Falkirk.

Located on the Larbert High School campus, it will have a roll of 238 primary and secondary pupils with learning difficulties.

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See also:

23 Aug 00 | Scotland
Minister's new exams pledge
28 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Conference rejects PFI
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