Thursday, 3 June 2010


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.


Tcheuchter said...

I had no great love for my old school but never considered burning it down. Perhaps I should have followed your example ;)

subrosa said...

Ha ha Tcheuchter, it was burnt down by tradesmen being negligent - that was the story anyway. :)

They were building another extension which removed all the playground space at the back when some electrical work wasn't completed correctly.

Of course, if we didn't have this dumbing down system of comprehensive schools, there would have been no need for the extension. They somehow had to fit two schools into one as the secondary modern was closed.

Now it's still not big enough to provide top class vocational skills - they take up much more room with workshops etc., so nobody wins.

Youngsters who want to learn vocational skills to any standard nowadays have to wait and attend college once they leave school instead of having a good all round education in the vocation of their choice then gaining an apprenticeship while attending college part-time.

Of course there aren't apprenticeships so the only way to keep them out of the unemployment figures is by letting them into colleges full-time.

William said...

Labour built schools using PFI, which is now generally discredited (and banks won't lend as they used to).
Where would Des McNumpty get the money to build schools, hospitals etc.? Borrow it? Scotland CAN'T borrow. Meanwhile,out of a decreasing pot of money, PFI payments have to be paid each year before any other commitments can be made.
I'm always amazed that this isn't thrown back in the face of the PFI brigade by the SNP.

William Brown

subrosa said...

It surprises me too William. Labour are let off the hook far too easily where capital investment, during their 'reign', is concerned.

Mrs Rigby said...

As William says. New schools = PFI, follow the money, and look at some of the contracts which only last 12-20 years.

RantinRab said...

They built a new school in Kilmarnock, a catholic secondary school. PFI was used.

£24,000,000. For a school. I'm still in shock.

subrosa said...

Tris has a good post about PPP/PFI costs of schools Rab.

Dark Lochnagar said...

You went to School for 12 years? I'm shocked. It seems to me there are new schools being built wherever I go. The school in my village has been getting worked on for over a year. I don't know who's paying for it, but if it's PFI, we'll be paying for years. Imagine spending £24m for a school in KILMARNOCK for god's sake. So they can count their drug money when they get their Giro in.

subrosa said...

I went to the primary there too DL, that's why it was 12 years.

I do wish the SNP would hammer home the cost of these PFI schools and let folk know the waste of money.

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