Scotland’s Colleges Need Almost Double Planned Maintenance Spending
An investigation into the state of Scotland’s colleges has revealed that in the next year alone, the necessary maintenance costs will be almost double what the Scottish Government has planned to spend on upkeep.
The Scottish Funding Council has estimated that at least £360 million needs to be spent on upkeep over the next five years just to keep the buildings watertight. But the Scottish Government has planned to spend only £34.9 million in the coming year - 45% less than is needed. If this continues over the next five years, the total shortfall will amount to more than £170 million. That’s more than the Scottish Government spent on upkeep in the last five years combined.
Numbers like these can make your head spin, but the facts on the ground tell a clear story. Scotland’s colleges have taken the brunt of austerity. In January of this year, another report from the Scottish Funding Council showed that the total number of college students in Scotland has dropped by more than a third in the last decade.
Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Iain Gray said:
“Colleges and further education continue to get a rotten deal from the SNP government in Edinburgh.
“Any government serious about further education would be ensuring that there is a clear plan to make the campuses wind and watertight. Instead the SNP only plans to spend a fraction of what is needed.
“Refusing to pay this repair bill is just the latest sorry failure from the government on further education – a failure which sees 140,000 fewer college places since they came to power.
“Students deserve to learn in safe, secure and comfortable facilities. The SNP must quickly explain how they are going to give colleges the vital funds they need for these urgent repairs.”