Funding for Faith Schools for building upkeep: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Information requested

  1. I would like to see any information you hold on the conditions by which faith schools receive government funding, particularly for building upkeep or replacement.
  2. Do the religions to which the faith schools cater to have any responsibility to pay for their own buildings or repairs?


Your request was triaged under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) rather than the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) as it relates to environmental information regarding school building upkeep and funding, which falls within the scope of the EIR.

In responding to your request, we have interpreted ‘faith schools’ as schools under the responsibility of one of the 32 local authorities in Scotland. These will be described as ‘state funded schools’.

With regard to your first question, all state funded schools, including denominational schools (faith schools), receive their funding from the block grant allocated to local authorities by the Scottish Government.

Local authorities have the discretion to distribute this funding across their school estate, considering factors like the number of pupils, school size, and the specific needs of their schools. Additionally, local authorities are responsible for maintaining and managing the upkeep of their school buildings, and the funding must also be used for this purpose.

Information regarding the funding of local authorities in Scotland for the 2024-25 fiscal year is publicly available and can be accessed at the following link: The Funding of Local Government in Scotland, 2024-2025 - ( Therefore, under Regulation 6(1)(b) of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs), we are unable to disclose the requested information as it is already accessible in another form or format. If you wish to be provided with this information in another format, please contact us again.

In relation to funding for building upkeep or replacement of schools including denominational schools, local authorities are responsible for the school estate and provide funding as necessary. The Scottish Government has also supported 47 projects through Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the £2bn Learning Estate Investment Programme (LEIP), which is a joint programme between COSLA and Scottish Government.

That funding model is based on supporting the achievements of Outcomes and Local Authorities receive revenue funding over 25 years on the basis of the project fulfilling those outcomes. The funding is calculated based on a set of pre-defined parameters, however each individual project is reviewed to reflect project specific requirements.

LEIP follows on from the successful £1.8bn Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme, which completed in 2021, and delivered 117 new or refurbished schools across Scotland. Scottish Government funding is intended to augment - not replace - local authorities’ own investment in their school estate.

With regard to your second question, responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of school buildings rests with the local authorities, using the allocated funding. Generally, local authority funded faith schools do not rely on religious communities to fund their buildings or repairs, as they are maintained and funded by the local authorities. Religious communities may contribute to the funding or maintenance of faith schools through voluntary donations or fundraising efforts, but they are not legally obliged to finance the construction, maintenance, or repairs of the school buildings.

While religious communities may voluntarily contribute to the funding or maintenance of faith schools, the primary responsibility for the buildings and repairs lies with the local authorities, funded through the block grant from the Scottish Government.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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