School buildings

Local authorities have a statutory duty to  manage and maintain their school estate, and ensure the adequate and efficient provision of school education in their area. In that context, they may undertake reorganisation of their school estate at any time.

Improving school buildings

Since 2007, the number of schools in ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ condition has increased from 61% to 90.7% in 2023.

The £2 billion investment in the school estate through the Learning Estate Investment Programme is intended to build on that progress. The Learning Estate Investment Programme is being delivered in partnership with local authorities, and will benefit tens of thousands of pupils across Scotland.

Phase 1 projects were announced in September 2019, Phase 2 projects were announced in December 2020 and Phase 3 projects were announced on 30th October 2023.

The Learning Estate Investment Programme follows on from the successful £1.8 billion Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme, which delivered 117 new or refurbished schools across Scotland by 2021.

Find out more at:

School closures/changes to the school estate

School closures (or rationalisations), mergers or altering catchment areas can be prompted by many factors such as changing population patterns and the need to provide suitable school buildings for pupils and teachers.

If a local authority proposes to change any part of the existing education provision in its area then it must engage in a formal consultation process under the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010. All major changes which affect schools are subject to clear consultation with parents, pupils and communities.

Local authority consultation process

We produce guidance on the consultation process:

A local authority must provide financial information in the proposal paper it prepares for any school closure consultation. Local authorities are strongly recommended to use the financial template which has been developed for this purpose.

Scottish Ministers 'call in' process: make a representation to ministers

Scottish Ministers have the power to 'call in' a local authority decision to close a school. After the local authority has taken its decision, there is a three week period, which begins on the date the decision is made, for anyone to make representations to ministers requesting the case to be called in or not called in.

You can make a representation in relation to ministerial call in for schools. This is the direct route to have your views taken into account during ministers' consideration of school closure cases.

There is then a further five week period for ministers to reach a decision on whether or not to call in the case. Ministers can only call in a decision if there is strong evidence of either:

  • the local authority failing to comply in a significant way with the requirements set out in the Act, or
  • the local authority failing to take proper account of a material consideration relevant to its decision

Current school closure proposals

Angus Council

There is one closure in Angus Council:

  • Hayshead Nursery and St Thomas Nursery Classes

Deadline for representation: 15 April 2024
Deadline for Scottish Ministers’ decision: 20 May 2024

Argyll and Bute

There are three closures in Argyll and Bute:

  • Southend Primary School
  • Minard Primary School
  • Achaleven Primary School

Deadline for representation: 27 March 2024
Deadline for Scottish Ministers’ decision: 1 May 2024

Highland Council

There is one closure in Highland Council:

  • Gergask Primary School

Deadline for representation: 3 April 2024
Deadline for Scottish Ministers’ decision: 8 May 2024

Representations to Scottish Ministers should be sent to the email or postal address below by the deadline stated. Representations are welcome from all interested parties who would like to provide evidence towards the Scottish ministers' decision to call in, or not call in, the council's decision for review by a School Closure Review Panel. All notifications of a decision by a local authority to close a school and related documentation should be emailed to

For information about how we handle your data, please see our privacy notice.

Once ministers have decided whether to call in a closure proposal or not, they write to the local authority setting out their decision and a copy of the letter is published on this site.

See a collection of correspondence relating to ministerial decisions on school closure proposals.

Also see:

School Closure Review Panels

If ministers decide that a case should be called in, it is referred to the School Closure Review Panels for review of the proposal and to reach a decision. The SCRP may:

  • grant consent to the proposal, with or without conditions
  • refuse consent to the proposal and remit it back to the education authority for a fresh decision
  • refuse the proposal

Rural schools

The Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 also made special provisions for rural schools.

We maintain a rural school list, setting out every school in Scotland that is designated as a rural school. This list is periodically updated. This followed a review of how the list was compiled in order to address a small number of anomalies, as recommended by the Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education.

For further information see: rural school list

Related information

Archived school buildings content prior to 2018 is available on this archive.

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