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Collapse in rolls doesn't rate a mention

Some 50 schools in Scotland - including 35 primaries - have closed in the past five years. But the "estates strategy" for the next 15 years avoids any reference to the "c" word that haunts councillors and education officials.

Closures do not feature in the refurbishment of the nation's schools, although they will form a vital dimension to the attack on crumbling classrooms. Only two weeks ago, the Accounts Commission reinforced its message about half-empty classes and the need for authorities to use resources wisely.

In Glasgow, half of the city's total of around 200 primaries are under 60 per cent occupied. In Argyll and Bute, more than half of the authority's 80 primaries fall below while in Dundee half of the 40 primaries there are similarly affected. The Western Isles has 70 per cent of its 40 primaries way below normal occupancy levels.

Among the secondaries, Orkney and the Western Isles report that at least half their schools were only 60 per cent occupied or less.

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