Kezia Dugdale: SNP letting down kids in Scotland’s most deprived areas

Kezia Dugdale. Picture: John Devlin
Kezia Dugdale. Picture: John Devlin
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Next week, the consultation period for the project to build a replacement Castlebrae High School will get under way.

This moment has been a long time coming.

The 12-week consultation period comes before formal submission of the planning application, and will include initial design concepts.

For those in the local area who want to find out more, look out for adverts in this newspaper and check out the council’s website from next Monday. There will also be local drop-in sessions for residents.

It’s great news that a new school is finally on course to be delivered.

However, I remain disappointed that council chiefs have been forced to press ahead with scaled-back proposals for Castlebrae.

That’s because if they wait to find out if the Scottish Government is willing to put up cash to deliver the new school the community deserves, they will have to hold on until 2021 to learn their fate.

That’s far too long for children to be taught in unfit classrooms.

So the council is pressing ahead by itself, using its own money for what I am hopeful will be an excellently designed school, but one that falls short of what could be delivered if the Government had helped out financially.

Ministers are letting down the Craigmillar community, which has some of the highest levels of deprivation and attainment challenges in the country.

This is utterly unacceptable, and it’s time for the SNP Government to take its devolved responsibilities seriously and use its tax powers to invest in education.