‘It’s a matter for pride’: Further improvements in school premises

Down the page in the Herald report, we see:

Why is that not the headline? Editorial choice poses as reality.

What are the unclear figures?

So, a zero-point three increase and a one-year fluctuation? Not even remotely significant or meaningful.

What is the longer-term, statistically meaningful trend?

Schools buildings across Scotland are in their best condition since recorded figures began.

According to new statistics 90% of schools were in good or satisfactory condition in April 2021, up from 61% in April 2007. This improvement has seen the percentage of pupils taught in good or satisfactory schools increase from 61% to 92% over the same period.

This is accompanied by a 77% fall in the number of pupils educated in schools in poor or bad condition. 1,000 schools have also been or substantially refurbished during the last 14 years (2007-08 to 2020-21).

https://www.gov.scot/news/modernising-school-buildings/

Who is the critic with the disgraceful grasp of not-clear-cut figures? Prof Emeritus Henry Maitles. I used to work with him. Thought well of him. A quals not a quants man?

Footnote: I retired from the same institution ‘Prof Naemeritus’ after reporting the management for the misuse of public funds eg trips to Mauritius to recruit zero students.

2 thoughts on “‘It’s a matter for pride’: Further improvements in school premises

  1. The investment in the school estate – and the NHS Scotland estate and the FE college estate – in Scotland is a good news story. Sensible folk can see the tangible, beneficial outcomes in their everyday lives. And of course they won’t necessarily link this to other positives: sustaining employment in construction; supporting many young people into apprenticeships; the multiplier effect on the construction supply chain; the longer term legacy of new and improved buildings for future generations.

    And regarding investment in the school estate, it’s been a sustained effort by the Scottish Government in partnership with Scottish local authorities. Project Scotland, an online news magazine for the construction industry, publishes articles regularly on the topic. (see https://projectscot.com) Just a few of many possible examples:

    8 September, 2022: HEADLINE – ‘ABERDEEN TO PRIORITISE IMPROVING EXISTING SCHOOLS OVER NEW BUILDS’
    ‘It comes as part of an approved finalised plan for the future of the city’s school estate for the next ten years and beyond.’

    Committee convener, councillor Martin Greig, (Liberal Democrat) said, “It is important that we take this long-term term strategic view of our entire school estate. The plan considers how we can meet the needs of every individual pupil now and we’ll into the future. We want to ensure that schools provide supportive environments for high quality learning.”

    15 February 2022: HEADLINE – ‘BULK OF WEST LOTHIAN’S £62M PROPERTY INVESTMENT TO BE SPENT ON SCHOOLS’
    ‘WEST Lothian Council is to invest £62.6 million in property during 2022/23 – with the majority being spent on improving its school estate.’

    Quoting the Labour leaders of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick: “The majority of our investment remains in school and education, providing a high-quality school estate as a platform for learning across early years, primary, secondary and additional support needs. With one of the best school estates in the country, WHICH HAS ADDED TO RISING ATTAINMENT BY PUPILS. We hope this approach will benefit West Lothian for generations to come.” (my emphasis)

    26 October, 2021: HEADLINE – ‘OVER 30 EDINBURGH SCHOOLS UPGRADED DURING OCTOBER BREAK’
    ‘Over 30 schools and nurseries across Edinburgh underwent upgrades and repairs over the recent October break. The City of Edinburgh Council said that the programme of upgrades was ‘significantly’ larger than those undertaken in previous years.’

    18 June, 2021: HEADLINE – ‘PLANS UNVEILED FOR £54M HIGHLAND SCHOOLS INVESTMENT’
    ‘The council estimates that a cost of £8 to 9 million will be required to increase the capacity of Culloden Academy; whilst a whole campus redevelopment is required at Beauly and Dunvegan Primaries, which it estimates would come at a cost of £12.5 to 15 million – the council explained that Beauly is one of its oldest schools and has some ‘seriously substandard’ buildings.

    18 December, 2020: HEADLINE – ‘COUNCILS REACT TO SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S £800M INVESTMENT IN SCHOOLS ANNOUNCEMENT’
    – City of Edinburgh Council – ‘really welcome”
    – Moray. Council – “very welcome”
    – Dundee City Council – ‘ this ambitious plan would help us transform secondary education in areas of the city’
    – Highland Council – “a major breakthrough for our school estate” and “We have done well in the first two phases of a school improvement programme which will I hope will in future result in many more communities feeling the benefit of funding from our partnership with the Scottish Government.”
    – West Dunbartonshire Council – “fantastic” news
    – Angus Council – ‘We are delighted ..”

    And this is ‘a disgrace’? Ah but there has been a 0.3% rise of something in just one year – now that is the really important statistic which will ensure the readership of The Herald is kept well informed!

    Liked by 4 people

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