Multi-million boost for Glasgow schools

HUNDREDS of millions of pounds are to be invested in Glasgow schools.

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Pupils at St Rochs make the most of the upgraded facilities
Pupils at St Rochs make the most of the upgraded facilities

A report before councillors yesterday detailed the latest city-wide education estate plans. It will see dozens of primary, nursery and additional support for learning schools upgraded to meet the demands of a modern curriculum.

Stephen Curran, Glasgow City Council's executive member for education and young people, said: "This is great news for the citizens of Glasgow.

"Our sole aim is to educate our children in buildings fit for purpose and I'm delighted with the announcement.

"In the last 12 years this council has spent more than £550million on improving Glasgow's schools and this has benefited over 100 establishments.

"We have pledged to rebuild or refurbish every primary in the city, as well as every remaining early years and ASL school.

"Not only will this benefit children across Glasgow, this major capital investment will provide a significant boost to the local economy.

"Education and jobs are both priorities for the council and we are committed to delivering on them."

As first told in the Evening Times, council bosses agreed last month to give £5m to plan Phase 5 of the education estate strategy. Every school in the city will be assessed to find out which are most in need of improvements.

Our photos show St Bride's Primary, in Govanhill, which could benefit from the refurbishment works.

The Victorian build-ing has broken windows and facilities that place it at a disadvantage to other city schools.

However, St Roch's Primary, in Royston, shows just how schools will benefit from the upgrade scheme.

St Roch's, which now has a hearing impaired unit for primary and nursery children, has had a £2.5m refurbish-ment. Head teacher Mary McNulty said: "The transformation in the school building is amazing. It's a joy to see the benefits."

It was a Condition D school, the worst categ-ory, but now has state-of-the-art facilities.

THE first four phases of the upgrade saw 34 new school campuses.

And the latest plan allows for new builds, with pupils having to be educated elsewhere during this and other work, but education bosses promise disruption to pupils will be minimal.

Mr Curran added: "Last month we agreed on £5m to kick-start phase 5 of the education estate strategy and this will cover initial design, project management costs and surveys.

"I have personally been out visiting a couple of schools a week since taking over my education role in May and spending time speaking to head teachers, local members and parent councils to hear about their school building issues."

If approved, the investment programme will begin on April 1 and run until 2017.

The school improve-ment works are designed to meet the needs of a projected rise in the number of pre-12 pupils.

By 2022 the number of nursery school pupils in the city is set to rise from 26,200 to 29,800.

And primary school rolls will rise from 36,750 to 41,500.

So far the schools to be involved in the scheme have not been named and the city council has not put a figure on how much 'The 4Rs' plan will cost.

But an education insider confirmed the plans will run to hundreds of millions of pounds.

In 2004 the city council launched The 3Rs pre-12 strategy that has so far created 34 new-build campuses across the city with a total investment of £391m.

In the last 12 years the council has spent more than £550m improving Glasgow's schools, resulting in more than 100 new schools.

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Education

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