Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has today highlighted the growing attainment gap in Scotland's colleges and the impending £360m repair bill as he called for new investment to repair Scotland’s colleges.
The Auditor General's annual report on Scotland's colleges reveals:
- College buildings require urgent and significant investment, with a backlog of repairs and maintenance over the next five years of up to £360 million;
- the harmonisation of staff pay will absorb any savings from the SNP's centralisation of colleges;
- The gap in attainment between students from the least and most deprived areas is growing;
- Some college boards continue to have significant gender imbalances in their membership that would fall short of the new statutory gender representation objective.
Commenting, Mr Scott said:
“After years of SNP cuts, there are almost 150,000 fewer college places today compared to 2007. That's 11 years of failing to support the college sector.
"Nicola Sturgeon promised to address the yawning gulf in attainment but this report shows that the gap continues to widen. Where is the SNP action plan to address that?"