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Perth and Kinross Council facing multi-million-pound school repair bill

Forteviot Primary, one of the schools whose condition has deteriorated.
Forteviot Primary, one of the schools whose condition has deteriorated.

Education chiefs are facing a multi-million-pound fix-up bill after a new study revealed a growing number of school buildings had dropped below standard.

An estates review has highlighted nine primaries and high schools which have slumped to “poor” physical condition in the last two years.

Perth and Kinross Council is already working on a £65.6 million programme to upgrade its estate, including the creation of a new secondary school at Bertha Park.

Now a fresh strategy is being drawn up to address the failing conditions of primaries at Aberuthven, Forteviot, Methven, North Muirton, Ruthvenfiled as well as Perth High School and Pitlochry High School.

There are already plans in place for replacement buildings at Kinross and Tulloch, which are among those that have been recently downgraded.

Lifelong learning committee convener Bob Band said: “We face ongoing challenges related to building conditions and further capital will be required to address this area.

“These challenges and the current financial climate mean we will need a fundamental review of the school estate and this has been included in the council’s transformation strategy.”

In her report to councillors, service manager Carol Taylor states: “It is clear there is ongoing requirement for adequate future funding to maintain and improve the standard of buildings.

“Approved plans are in place which will address the ‘poor’ condition category rating at Kinross and Tulloch primary schools. Proposals are being considered for those establishments that have been rated Category C ‘poor’.”

The Service Asset Management Plan reveals there are a total of 11 schools in poor condition, meaning they are “showing major defects and/or not operating adequately.” They represent about 13% of the council’s entire schools estate.

Most school buildings have been rated satisfactory “performing adequately but showing minor deterioration” while about 20% are in good condition.

No schools in the area are at category D, meaning “economic life expired and/or risk of failure.”

Perth City South councillor Willie Wilson, who hit out at delays over a new sports hall at Perth High, said: “This condition survey provides us with food for thought. This information helps us enormously in our developing plan for future school estates.”

The report also shows how work at Crieff and Oakbank primaries has resulted in a leap from category C to A.

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