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Highland Councillor for Aird and Loch Ness, Cllr Helen Crawford, has urged fellow Councillors to vote in support of calling a "School estate emergency" in a council meeting this Thursday.
As reported in the Press and Journal, the Ross-shire Journal, the Inverness Courier, the Scotsman, and STV, the move has been called following years of worsening conditions in Highland schools. It is a problem that has been reported right across the Highlands from Dingwall to Strathspey.
Any hope of a resolution in the immediate future was dashed earlier this year, when the October announcement from the Scottish Government's Learning Estates Improvement Program (LEIP) revealed no money- not a penny- was going to be spent in the Highlands.
With the SNP in the Scottish Government clearly not understanding the condition of schools across the Highlands, Cllr Crawford is of the view that only by calling an emergency can the scale of the problem be properly represented to decision makers in the Central Belt.
Cllr Crawford said:
"Across Scotland the percentage of schools graded good for condition and suitability is almost 91%. That's in sharp contrast to the situation in the Highlands where not even 20% of our schools are rated A-Good. Furthermore, across Scotland 10% of secondary schools are rated C-Poor, in contrast to 37% here in the Highlands."
"We know that thousands of our children are spending their schooldays in buildings that are not fit for purpose. And an unacceptable number of teaching and support staff are spending their working lives in those buildings too and that must impact negatively upon recruitment and retention of those staff."
"The poor state of schools in Highland is considerably worse than the rest of Scotland. For these reasons, I am calling on all Highland Councillors to support this motion declaring a schools estate emergency until we have fixed the problem that is affecting our children's education."
To write to your Councillors about this, you can find their details on this link: https://www.highland.gov.uk/councillors/ward
Click on the ward you reside in, and then click on the councillor's names to find their emails.