Three schools in the north are in line for a major revamp as part of an £800million project to modernise classrooms.
The Scottish Government has today announced funding for 25 schools, which will either be replaced or refurbished to create modern learning facilities.
Education Secretary John Swinney said the boost would benefit 21,000 children and young people across 18 local authority areas.
Each new school will be designed to benefit the wider community too, with facilities for all to use.
Schools to get revamp
In the Highlands, Broadford Primary School and Nairn Academy will be transformed. There have been repeated calls in recent years for both to be replaced due to their deteriorating condition.
Parents at the Skye primary school had repeatedly begged for action amid fears the damp learning conditions were causing their children health problems, such as asthma.
Nairn Academy, meanwhile, has previously been described as “not fit for purpose” with complaints about asbestos – and buckets being used to catch leaks from the ceiling.
Meanwhile in Moray, Findrassie Primary will also benefit from the funding boost.
Moray Council has been repeatedly slammed by Audit Scotland for having some of the worst school buildings in the country – with an estimated £151million repair bill.
Announcing the funding, Mr Swinney said: “I am determined that our pupils have access to high-quality, up-to-date facilities that parents, staff and children can be proud of.
“Many of the projects will include wider community facilities and integration as part of the new school build or refurbishment. These facilities are so much more than just a school where children are educated – they are the centrepiece of communities with links to the wider learning estate, such as further education facilities and community libraries.”
The funding is part of the government’s £1billion learning estate programme which aims to benefit around 50,000 pupils across Scotland by 2021. It is managed on behalf of the government by Scottish Futures Trust.
Councillor Stephen McCabe, Cosla’s children and young people spokesman, welcomed the news and said it would have “far-reaching benefits”.
He added: “It’s been a really challenging year for our communities so this is good news before Christmas and it gives our children and young people a sense of the importance that all spheres of government place on their learning environments. Councils are quite rightly prioritising this investment at a time when there are real challenges and competing priorities.”
Earlier this year, the Press and Journal revealed a report which showed Highland and Moray had the highest proportion of schools in “poor” condition in Scotland.
More than half of Moray’s primary and secondaries are crumbling, according to the data, and in Highland the rate is just above 40%.
A total of 69 primaries in Highland were rated “poor” for condition in April, with the next highest in Scotland being Moray, with 24.
A dozen secondaries in Highland were judged to be in the same category.
Aberdeen City had one primary described in that way, while there were two secondaries said to be in poor condition in Aberdeenshire.
No schools in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire have been selected for this latest round of funding.