Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The SNP Matches Labour's School Building Programme Brick for Brick...Only Joking.

Today the Education Minister Fional Hyslop finally, at last, announced that the SNP is ready to build some schools in Scotland. She said the move would provide 55 new schools and see 35,000 pupils taught in modern buildings, with the first bricks laid in 2010.

The mystery is, having promised to match Labour's school building programme "brick for brick", why wait two years and two months to announce your programme? What has Fiona Hyslop been up to for the past two years?

The Minister said that building these schools would begin in 2010. But why could this announcement not have have been made two years ago? If it had, we might actually be building some schools now. Who knows, some of them might even be completed and have pupils in them by now.

Fiona Hyslop, Alex Salmond and, for all I know, other SNP ministers have been traversing the country for the last two years opening schools commissioned and built under the Labour/Lib Dem administration. In the meantime they have not commissioned, never mind built, one new school themselves.

The SNP Minister said that the schools would be occupied 12-18 months after start of build. So we have the bizarre prospect of an election in May 2011 with perhaps not one new school completed under a four year administration. If that's not a scandal, nothing is.


  1. "why wait two years and two months to announce your programme? "

    Remind us how soon after coming to office, the Labour Liberal democrat coalition took to build their first schools?

  2. Oh I don't know: but I do see that you are trying to change the subject....

    I also know why the SNP hasn't built a school in two years and is unlikely to build more than a handful of schools in four years. It's because the so-called "Scottish Future Trust" never existed beyond a "promise" in the SNP's manifesto.

    And the promise to match the previous administration's plan for school building "brick for brick" was, if not an outright lie, a promise with no chance of being delivered by the SFT and the SNP.

    Montague, tell me: do you think it is a duty of a government to make sure our kids are taught in up-to-date and suitable buildings? And do you think the SNP was right to promise a "brick-for-brick" match of previous plans?

    If so, why are you not angry with the SNP for failing to do so?

    If not, what do you think the responsibility of governments vis-a-vis schools might be? To not build new schools? To promise to build schools but fail to do so?

    Honestly Monty, I see why try to change the subject, because otherwise you would be defending the indefensible. Which is why you make no attempt ....

  3. Feller, I simply responded to a question you asked.

    The answer is that it took the Labour Liberal Democrat coalition three years before they built their first school.

    Surely you welcome the £1.25 billion of investment to build a further 55 schools on top of the 250 rebuilt or refurbished schools that will be completed by 2011?

    The SNP government are committed to spending £700m a year over the next four years, which surely compares favourably with the £540m pa the Liberal Democrat Labour coalition managed?

  4. The money is welcome, if it is new money. I think building schools is a good thing. Don't you?

    I simply wonder why the announcement could not have been made two years ago.... it's not as if there is anything unusual or different about the means of finance or the project control. If I was Education Minister I would have been building these schools by now, not making announcements so belatedly that it could be the fact that we don't actually commission and build any schools in a four year term.

    But, you seee, I care more for our kids, than I do for constitutional nonsense?

    What do you care about?