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19/08/15 11:00

£5 million to improve learning environments

20 projects receive funding to create world class learning spaces.

Twenty projects across 19 local authorities have received funding to improve areas for learning in schools it was announced today by the Education Secretary.

The Inspiring Learning Spaces fund encourages the creation of spaces for flexible learning and allows closer partnerships between schools and further education, in line with Curriculum for Excellence.

The fund complements the £1.8 billion Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme, all of which aims to ensure Scotland becomes a world leader in education.

Since 2007, more than 520 schools have been rebuilt or refurbished – a fifth of the school estate. These new Inspiring Learning Spaces projects will also contribute towards the greener schools commitment and be completed over the next two years.

Cabinet Secretary for Education Angela Constance announced the projects receiving funding at Hazelwood School in Glasgow which was built in 2007 and has won a number of awards for its innovative design.

Ms Constance said:

“We have a strong track record in improving the spaces in which children and young people learn, The number of children now learning in poor or bad condition schools has halved since 2007. But there is more to do.

“We want to deliver a world class education for every child in the country and the space in which children learn has a key role to play. In addition to creating enjoyable, creative and modern learning spaces, these projects will also help make the transition from school to further education, training or employment easier for young people.

“It’s encouraging that many of the submissions from local authorities involve working with partners including further and higher education institutions and schools across their areas so more pupils can benefit from these new spaces.

“I’m also pleased to see such a wide variety of subjects covered by these projects. From ICT to engineering and STEM subjects to hospitality. And it’s not just pupils who will benefit as many of the spaces will also allow staff to develop their skills and will provide facilities the wider community can use.”

Councillor Stephen Curran, Executive member for Education and Young People said:

“Glasgow always strives to be innovative and sector-leading in school and learning space design and constantly looking at new ways to inspire creativity in and out of the traditional classroom.

“We welcome these additional funds and working in partnership to create flexible, inspired educational spaces that are fit for our modern and vibrant young people.”

Grant Robertson, schools programme director at Scottish Futures Trust explained:

“The way in which pupils are educated is ever changing. It’s therefore vital we look at the various physical environments where they learn and explore what that might look like in the future. Part of the change will involve placing greater emphasis on building stronger links between schools and colleges and industry by ensuring pupils have the best education environment allowing them to be fully prepared for life after school.

“In helping co-ordinate the Inspiring Learning Spaces programme, we have been impressed by the many thought-provoking ideas being put forward by local authorities, and are very much looking forward to working with those who have been awarded funding to see their ideas become reality.”

Notes to editors

Projects to receive funding:

Aberdeenshire: £260,000 for remodelling four classrooms into an innovative teaching and learning environments that is modern, flexible and motivating.

Highland: £250,000 for ICT in learning.

Angus: £300,000 towards extending STEM provision through a Construction Training Skills Centre facility within the new Brechin Community Campus.

Falkirk: £300,000 towards Creative Industry and STEM Campuses in up to three secondary schools in partnership with Forth Valley College and the University of West of Scotland.

Perth & Kinross: £300,000 towards an engineering hub at one secondary school, accessible to all senior pupils in Perth and Kinross, offering courses in engineering.

Glasgow: £300,000 to create four Learning Spaces of the Future – a “state of the art” learning space which would be incorporated into existing vacant classrooms within schools.

West Dunbartonshire: £45,000 towards three modern STEM Learning Centres.

East Renfrewshire: £300,000 towards a Shared Faith Space.

North Lanarkshire: £171,000 for Inspiring Classrooms for the future in three schools providing easy access to state of the art technology.

East Ayrshire: £100,000 for new hospitality training suite to help pupils make informed choices for their senior phase courses.

Dumfries & Galloway: £300,000 to extend range of opportunities, employability skills, pathways and vocational training to all pupils with links to colleges.

East Lothian: £300,000 towards centre offering Future Technologies and Traditional Craft curriculums and opportunities currently not available in East Lothian or neighbouring authorities.

West Lothian: £250,000 towards digital learning environment for learners, teachers, and employment partners.

Edinburgh: £200,000 towards renovation of two Senior Phase spaces at Liberton High School, accessible to both Liberton and Gracemount pupils to provide increased options to start training and education which contributes to Modern Apprenticeship framework, focusing on health and social care and engineering/construction.

Midlothian: £300,000 to create four Learning Spaces of the Future – a “state of the art” learning space which would be incorporated into existing vacant classrooms within schools.

North Ayrshire: £300,000 for Professional Learning Academy to create an environment where those working with children and young people can develop their skills and talents to improve children’s services.

South Lanarkshire: £200,000 towards the creation of a mobile re-usable classroom extension to respond to the predicted temporary increase in pupil numbers.

Stirling/Clackmannanshire: £250,000 for the development of a vocational/skills training centre at St Modan’s High School which will also improve partnership working with Forth Valley College and local employers.

Scottish Futures Trust: £570,000 to work collaboratively with other local authorities and industry experts to create Learning Spaces of the Future – a “state of the art” learning space which would be incorporated into existing vacant classrooms within schools. It will also set up a “Greener Schools” short life working group involving experts from various fields including council’s energy managers, pupils and industry experts.