Response from John Swinney on a Green Recovery for Education

Anna Brown
August 27, 2020

On June 25th Katie Napier, Tess Corcoran and I sent a letter to Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney calling for a green recovery for education as part of our campaign launch. You can find out more about that in our previous blog.

On July 27th we received a reply from Matthew Rennie,  who is a governmental policy officer, on the behalf of John Swinney. This included details of what the government was already doing to achieve net-zero school buildings:

  • The Scottish Government's Learning Estate Strategy sets out a range of outcomes for investment in school buildings including an energy efficient target to make learning environments greener and more sustainable. The target for schools replaced/upgraded through the Learning Estate Investment Programme is 67 kWh per square metre per year for core hours.

  • Outside of this interest free loans are available from the Scottish government to the public sector to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings including nurseries and schools.

  • Also, a new benchmark standard for new public buildings to ensure that heating systems are renewable or zero carbon is being developed and in turn this will benefit educational buildings.

  • In addition £55 million has been allocated to boost low carbon investment across Scotland Higher Education Institutions through the Scottish Government’s Universities for Future: Decarbonising Scotland Fund.

  • In September 2019 the First Minister set out the first phase of 11 school projects to benefit from the £1 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme with further phases being announced by the end of 2020.

While these are all welcome improvements, that we are thankful our government is making, this is still not enough!

After this letter we followed up with the Deputy First Minister and are excited to share that he agreed to having a meeting with members of TTF Scotland about a green recovery and our campaign!

Anna Brown, 18

Teach the Future climate education advocate and SYCS volunteer