School buildings in ‘best condition’ ever recorded

But tens of thousands of pupils still go to schools that are in poor condition

Henry Hepburn

School buildings in 'best condition' ever recorded

Schools buildings across Scotland are in their best condition since recorded figures began, according to a new government report.

New statistics show that 90 per cent of schools were in “good” or “satisfactory” condition in April 2021, up from 61 per cent in April 2007. This means the percentage of pupils taught in good or satisfactory schools increased from 61 per cent to 92 per cent over the same period.

However, only 28.8 per cent of school buildings (716) are in the top category of “good” and while there has been a substantial fall in pupils educated in “poor” or “bad” school buildings 9.7 per cent (241) of schools are “poor” and one school in the country is rated “bad”.

Most school buildings’ condition falls into the “satisfactory” category: 61.4 per cent (1,523 schools).


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Last year's figures: More Scottish school buildings in good condition


The number of pupils in school buildings of each category is:

  • good: 277,671 (265,643 in 2020).

  • satisfactory: 364,044 (369,063 in 2020).

  • poor: 58,148 (60,836 in 2020).

  • bad: 855 (1,050 in 2020).

Meanwhile, around 1,000 schools are recorded as having been built or “substantially refurbished” over the 14 years from 2007-08 to 2020-21.

The Scottish government has committed to investing £1 billion to continue building and refurbishing schools as part of the Learning Estate Investment Programme.

Education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Schools are at the heart of every community across Scotland, which is why it’s vital that pupils are educated in facilities that are fit for purpose. Our hardworking teachers and support staff deserve to work in modern, high-quality buildings, too.

“These latest statistics illustrate how that investment is making a real difference to thousands of children and young people. In terms of measuring how our schools are improving, these are the best statistics since records began.”

Ms Somerville added: “And we want to do more. Our £2 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme will see schools upgraded across Scotland, benefiting around 50,000 pupils. Councils will play a big part in modernising schools and it is important that we work closely with them to deliver for children and young people across the country.”

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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