Major investment in Capital schools announced

A proposal to invest £30m upgrading schools, nurseries and other buildings will go before councillors next week, with a commitment to upgrade all schools currently identified as in 'poor' condition.

A report is going to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Education, Children and Families Committee on Tuesday, 10 December outlining the current condition of the buildings in the Children and Families estate.

The Capital Asset Management Programme Priorities 2014-2019 report highlights a number of buildings that need work carried out over the next five years following the recent completion of condition surveys.

The surveys identified that 92% of schools were in a satisfactory or good condition which is better than the Scottish average of 81% and compared favourably to other local authorities such as Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.

However 15 buildings were found to be in a poor condition and a further seven buildings were identified as needing significant levels of investment to keep them in a satisfactory condition.

The Committee will now consider a priority programme of investment including major works to these buildings, alongside substantial Health and Safety and wind and watertight improvements to establishments across the estate. Major works include roofing, replacement windows improved lighting, ventilation and heating.

Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener for the Education, Children and Families Committee, said: "A huge amount of work has been done to ensure that we have up to date information on the condition of the buildings in the Children and Families estate. It has given us a clear and comprehensive picture of what repairs and improvement works are needed. 

"For too long the Council’s maintenance and repair has been largely reactive, and this new information will allow us to plan and prioritise effectively. Given declining budgets it is absolutely vital that we target funding where it is needed most. The programme announced today provides us with an investment programme which does exactly this, with an aim to ensure that every school is rated A or B by the Scottish Government.

"Our estate is in a considerably better condition than other areas of Scotland, at the moment 92% of our buildings are rated satisfactory or good. However we need to ensure that all our buildings are in a suitable condition to ensure every child in Edinburgh is given the best start in life."

Council Leader Andrew Burns said: "The Capital Coalition is committed to raising the condition of our schools as shown by this pledge to invest £30m over five years. It is a priority issue for us but more financial help is needed to ensure all our schools are of a suitable standard. I am eager to look closely for additional revenue funding to achieve this."

Full details of which schools and buildings have been identified for upgrade work in the Children and Families estate can be accessed here

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