Clare asks a question on South Lanarkshire Schools

Question Asked in Chamber (Question S5O-00032) 15/06/2016

Clare asked:

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has invested in building or refurbishing schools in South Lanarkshire since 2007.’

Question Taken in Chamber – Answered by John Swinney MSP 15/06/2016

John Swinney MSP responded:

Through the Scotland’s schools for the future programme, the Scottish Government is undertaking significant investment in Scotland’s school estate. In South Lanarkshire, the Government has awarded funding of up to £11.6 million for the replacement of Spittal primary school, Burnside primary, Halfmerke primary and West Mains additional support needs school.’

Follow-Up Question Asked in Chamber 15/06/2016

Clare asked:

‘The cabinet secretary will be aware of the calls for a new secondary school in the Halfway area of my constituency. Does he agree that given that 107 schools have been built or refurbished in South Lanarkshire since 2007—more than in any other local authority area—the issue in South Lanarkshire is not caused by a lack of Government investment in schools? Will he raise the issue with South Lanarkshire Council when he next meets it?’

Follow Up Answer Delivered in Chamber 15/06/2016

John Swinney MSP responded:

‘Decisions about the investment that is made in the school estate are fundamentally for local authorities, under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, which contains the statutory responsibility for individual authorities to plan and manage their school estate in order to deliver education services.

We do, of course, take forward investment programmes—the schools for the future programme is one example—through which the Government makes available resources to encourage the refurbishment of schools. I will consider the points that Clare Haughey has made about the opportunities to deploy such investment in the South Lanarkshire area, particularly in the Halfway area of her constituency.

We attach a significant premium to ensuring that we invest effectively in the school estate, to ensure that young people can be educated in a quality environment. That will remain a commitment of the Government during its term of office.’

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