Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Schools 'Need Improvement Plans'

Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Schools 'Need Improvement Plans'

Article excerpt

About a third of Scotland's schools are still in a poor condition, despite billions of pounds of investment over the past decade, a major report by public sector watchdogs has found.

The Accounts Commission and the auditor general for Scotland carried out an extensive survey of schools. The joint report, Improving the school estate, published on March 20, calls on the Scottish government and councils to draw up detailed plans to make sure schools in need of improvement are brought up to standard.

It points out that since 2000, £3.9bn has been spent by the government and councils on improving the schools estate, and this was expected to have increased to more than £5.2bn by April 2008.

The watchdogs add: 'It is estimated that at current rates it will take another 20 years to make all schools fit for purpose.'

Hundreds of schools have been built or refurbished in the past ten years, the report notes. But the survey identified a number of problems, including design, over-heating, ventilation and environmental concerns.

The Scottish Executive began a programme of school building and renewal in the late 1990s, including the promise of financial support for councils that used the Private Finance Initiative. …

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