The Scottish Government announced today that they will build or refurbish almost 1,000 schools across the county in a £1billion investment programme. They will partner with local authorities and more investment is promised within 12 months.

This spending programme includes provision for a new Currie Community High School.

The First Minister said:“This additional £1 billion investment will benefit around 50,000 pupils across Scotland, with the first phase set to upgrade and modernise schools across 11 of our local authority areas. 

“This investment builds on the progress that we have made over the last 10 years. The National Statistics published today reveal that, even before today’s announcement, Scotland’s school estate has never been in better condition, with a record percentage in good or satisfactory condition. That is a result of sustained investment and we will now build on that.

“Modern, state of the art buildings can make a real difference to the lives of pupils, teachers and parents, as well as the wider communities they serve. This investment continues our efforts to improve the condition of our entire learning estate, from early years through to schools and colleges.”

Councillor Ian Perry

Cllr Ian Perry, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Building a new Currie Community High School has been a top priority for the Council and today’s announcement is really encouraging news. It’s a real boost for our ambitious plans to replace six high schools as part of our Wave 4 programme. Just last month planning permission was approved for a new Castlebrae High School with work due to start on site later this year and  we have put in place funding for Phase 1 of a new Trinity Academy. Replacement schools for Liberton, WHEC and Balerno are all part of our plans as we aim to replace poor condition high school buildings with fit for purpose, learning and community hubs. These will be innovatively and sustainably designed so they are inspirational places for learning for the next generation.

“We already have robust business cases in place for these schools and will continue to work in partnership with the Scottish Government, COSLA and others to develop a joined-up investment strategy which will ensure the full programme of new high schools can be implemented as quickly as possible.”

Cllr Alison Dickie, Education Vice Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This announcement gives us a great opportunity to innovatively build schools for the future that are fit for 21st Century learning. A key element of any new school design is the many aspects that support greater accessibility and inclusion for all young people and encourages learning opportunities for the whole community.  We’ve already started early engagement with Currie staff, parents and the wider community and this will now be developed further as we start detailed design planning next year. In line with the Council’s bold commitment of being carbon neutral by 2030 we will be looking to ensure Currie is a model for low carbon schools and investigate opportunities to achieve Passivhaus accreditation.

“As a former teacher I know how important it is to embrace innovative ways of improving the learning environment. We will ensure that our plans for new schools are designed to be inclusive and meet the wide variety of learning styles and learner needs. We are committed to creating a first-class learning estate and ensuring all our children have the best possible learning environment in which to flourish.”

The Scottish Government also claim that National Statistics show that the number of schools which are either in good or satisfactory condition has gone up from 61.1% in April 2007 to 88.3% in April 2019. They plan low carbon schools to help them tackle the Climate Emergency. In common with other public spending Scottish Futures Trust will manage the programme on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Our main photo above shows Portobello High School when it was under construction