£800m school upgrade investment confirmed



Twenty-five new schools and campuses are to be constructed or refurbished to provide modern, state of the art learning facilities for approximately 21,000 children and young people across Scotland, education secretary John Swinney has revealed.

Liberton High School in Edinburgh will be replaced under the second phase of investment

Scottish Government funding, alongside local authority contributions to phase 2 of the Learning Estate Investment Programme, will enable almost £800 million of investment across 18 local authorities.

The programme will deliver digitally enabled, low-carbon schools and campuses, ensuring they are inclusive and welcoming places that meet the needs of the whole community.

Mr Swinney said the investment will boost the construction industry and help economic stimulus with creation of jobs.

The new Faifley Campus in West Dunbartonshire will replace Auchnacraig Early Learning and Childcare Centre, Edinbarnet Primary and St Joseph’s Primary schools (pictured)

The £1 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme - developed in conjunction with COSLA - was launched in November 2018 and the first phase of 11 projects announced in September 2019.

List of Phase 2 projects:  

  1. Angus Council - Monifieth High School
  2. City of Edinburgh Council - Liberton High School
  3. City of Edinburgh Council - Wester Hailes Education Centre
  4. Dumfries and Galloway Council - Dumfries High School
  5. Dundee City Council – Proposed new campus to replace Craigie and Braeview High Schools
  6. East Ayrshire Council - Doon Valley Community Campus
  7. East Ayrshire Council - St Sophia’s Primary School
  8. Fife Council - Inverkeithing High School
  9. Glasgow City Council - Gaelic Primary School
  10. Glasgow City Council - New City Centre Primary School
  11. Highland Council - Broadford Primary School
  12. Highland Council - Nairn Academy
  13. Midlothian Council - Penicuik High School
  14. Midlothian Council - Mayfield Primary School Campus
  15. Moray Council - Findrassie Primary School
  16. North Ayrshire Council - Montgomerie Park Primary School
  17. Perth and Kinross Council - Perth High School
  18. Perth and Kinross Council - Primary School(North Perth)
  19. Renfrewshire Council - Paisley Grammar Community Campus
  20. Scottish Borders Council - Galashiels Academy
  21. Scottish Borders Council - Peebles High School
  22. South Lanarkshire Council - Newton Farm Primary School extension
  23. Stirling Council - Callander Primary School
  24. West Dunbartonshire Council - Faifley Campus
  25. West Lothian Council - East Calder Primary School

The £1 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme aims to benefit around 50,000 pupils across Scotland by the end of the next Parliament and is managed on behalf of the Scottish Government by the Scottish Futures Trust.

Mr Swinney said: “I am determined that our pupils have access to high-quality, up-to-date facilities that parents, staff and children can be proud of.

“This next phase builds on our commitment and proven track record in replacing schools in the poorest condition so that more children or young people can be educated in high quality buildings and ensure equity of provision.

“Scotland’s construction industry has worked incredibly hard to deal with the many challenges presented by the COVID pandemic. This funding will help the sector, sustaining many jobs and providing a welcome boost to communities across the country.

“Many of the projects will include wider community facilities and integration as part of the new school build or refurbishment. These facilities are so much more than just a school where children are educated, they are the centre piece of communities with links to the wider learning estate such as further education facilities and community libraries.”

Artist’s impression of the Findrassie Masterplan in Moray - image credit EMA Architecture Design Limited

Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA’s children and young people spokesperson, said: “Scotland’s Councils are determined to provide our Children and Young people with the first class learning environment that they deserve. This second phase of joint investment from Scottish and Local Government has far reaching benefits, but can only be delivered through strong partnership working.

It’s been a really challenging year for our communities so this is good news before Christmas, and it gives our children and young people a sense of the importance that all spheres of government place on their learning environments. Councils are quite rightly prioritising this investment, at a time when there are real challenges and competing priorities.”

Gemma Boggs, senior associate director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of phase 2 of the Learning Estate Investment Programme. As programme managers, we will continue to work collaboratively with our public and private sector partners to deliver this additional investment which will be welcome news to the construction industry.

“These new or refurbished facilities will provide world-class, digitally enabled learning environments and be designed with communities at their heart. Ambitious programme energy targets will contribute to our net zero goals.”

The LEIP follows on from the successful Scotland’s Schools for the Future (SSF) Programme which to date has delivered 116 new or refurbished learning facilities, with the final project in the programme due to open in April 2021. The SSF programme will have benefitted approximately 78,000 pupils who will now learn in fit for purpose, good or satisfactory condition schools. 

The Scottish Government will pay for ongoing maintenance of the new facilities through an outcomes based funding model.