Edinburgh is planning for our children's future

Education, Children and Families Convener Cllr Ian Perry writes in today's Evening News about the year ahead.

I didn’t think that at the start of 2021 a year later I would still be discussing the ongoing pandemic, the measures we are taking to ensure our schools and early years settings are as safe as they can be and praising everyone for the support.

The impact of the pandemic over the past 20 months has never been more starkly felt than by our young people and their families.

Despite these challenges our overarching aim hasn’t changed which is to keep our schools open and deliver the best teaching and learning for all. 

We’ve been able to do that thanks to the fantastic efforts of all the staff working in our schools who have gone above and beyond since the pandemic began. They’ve been given amazing support by so many other teams in the Council including their Lifelong Learning Service and Social Work colleagues who have provided wider achievement and outdoor learning opportunities as well as supports for those children and families most in need.

It’s been a real Team Edinburgh effort and none more so than from our parents and carers whose support and understanding has been so crucial.

But it’s important not to let the pandemic detract from some exciting developments for our school estate. Our investment in new buildings is gathering pace in 2022 despite the effects of the pandemic on the construction industry.

We have replacement schools due to open at Castlebrae, St Crispin’s and Victoria, a brand new school at Canaan Lane opening and a state of the art sports and outdoor education facility being delivered for Trinity Academy and the wider community at Bangholm. In addition, major works at Darroch and Boroughmuir to provide additional secondary capacity will be completed. This is all part of our financial commitment for our ambitious new school building programme which will see more than £500m planned investment over this decade.

Of course it is what goes on inside the building that is most important. Our commitment for every teacher to have the highest level of training is set out in our Teachers’ Charter and is already taking shape with 2,300 teachers having taken part in the programme.

In addition to the new schools, more new early years buildings will be opening across the city at Nether Currie, Craigentinny, Granton, St Mark’s and St John Vianney primary schools as we continue to deliver 1,140 hours provision for all 3 and 4-year-olds and eligible 2-year-olds.

This year will also see us driving forward Edinburgh’s Promise with our partners so Scotland’s capital is a city where children can grow up loved, safe, respected and realise their full potential.

A positive example of this partnership approach targeting those most in need and making a real difference is our ongoing work with EVOC during the pandemic to identify additional support for vulnerable families in our communities.

Despite the pandemic I firmly believe there is much to be optimistic about in 2022. We all want our young people to achieve their personal goals so let’s all play our part in making this happen.



Published: January 12th 2022