Morgan Academy, Dundee today
Why is it that in the past few years the Labour party has suddenly decided every child in Scotland should be educated in a brand new school?
Yesterday the SNP published a timetable for the building of 35 schools across Scotland, with construction on the first schools due to begin later this year.
As is the norm in Scottish politics, up pops Des McNulty, Labour education spokesman: "Scotland was promised a raft of new schools by the SNP - today's announcement shows the bankruptcy of their ambition. None of the schools announced today will be completed in the lifetime of this parliament."
Of course Labour did nothing for many years about any Scottish school. They were left to decay even during the 'boom' years. A few years ago, when they were in government with the libdems, they suddenly realised many schools were uninhabitable. Leeking roofs, ancient heating systems beyond repair, unsafe playgrounds and many other major defects pushed Labour into providing new schools. It was a major fire which caused the rebuilding of my old school (pictured above) which I attended for 10 years, but that was an exceptional case because due to its history, the facia was restored although the inside of the building was mainly rebuilt.
Before the fire in 2001 it was an old building with its problems, but that did not hinder the provision of a quality education to its pupils. New buildings do not educate, teachers educate.
Once again Labour are complaining the SNP haven't built umpteen schools in the last 3 years, although they have built quite a few and refurbished even more. According to the SNP's timetable the 35 will be completed and occupied by 2015. Is that too long to wait for a brand new building when the ones they replace have been neglected for 40 years or more? I think not.