Harris Academy Should be Number One School Building Priority in Dundee

On Wednesday 17 June, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Fiona Hyslop, announced a national school building programme supported by £800 million of Scottish Government funding to be shared by all 32 local authorities in Scotland .

Labour Education Spokesperson on the City Council, Laurie Bidwell said,

"The SNP promised a lion and have unveiled a mouse! In the SNP election manifesto in May 2007 they claimed they would 'match Labour's school building programme brick for brick'. This announcement will mean the SNP government will not commission and deliver one new school before the next Holyrood election in May 2011. In addition its scale will probably only help to deliver (by way of 75% national funding) one new secondary school in Dundee . In the Labour led programme in Dundee we delivered two new secondary schools (St Paul's and Grove Academies) and six new Primary Schools via a PPP project worth £90 million (£120 million at 2011 prices). In addition, our administration on the city council, commissioned five new primary schools Whitfield, West End (2) and Lochee-Charleston (2) and the replacement for Kingspark School using prudential borrowing. By any measure, the SNP offering falls very far short of matching our impressive school building programme.

Under my watch, as Education Convenor, a feasibility study was undertaken to rebuild or refurbish Harris Academy . That was recently completed and shared with the Head Teacher and Parent Council. The various strategies have price tags starting at about £20 million. Will SNP Education Convener Liz Fordyce now confirm that Harris Academy will be her number one priority on the Council's shopping list?"

Councillor Richard McCready said,
"Harris Academy is crying out for investment. I urge the City Council to make the case for investment in the Harris to the Scottish Government. People in the West End know that Harris Academy is a good school they also realise that it needs to be modernised. Action is required now."