Deputy First Minister breaks ground on new secondary school at Bertha Park

Set to open in August 2019, Bertha Park High School will be the first additional secondary school to be built in Perth and Kinross since 1972. Perth and Kinross is one of the fastest-growing areas of Scotland and, as a result, Perth Secondary schools will be near to capacity by 2021. A review of the school estate identified a new Perth secondary school as a priority. The new Bertha Park High School reflects the projected growth in population and resulting housebuilding and infrastructure required to support this. The new secondary school catchment area will include pupils from the Local Development Plan (LDP) housing areas at Bertha Park, Almond Valley and Perth West. They will be joined by the primary school catchment areas serving Auchtergaven, Logiealmond, Methven, Pitcairn, Ruthvenfield, Oudenarde, Forgandenny, Forteviot and Dunbarney. Mr Swinney said: "Bertha Park marks the 100th school in our £1.8bn Schools for the Future programme and I am very pleased to get work underway on this milestone project. "We are providing £19.6m towards the school as part of our aim to ensure our children and young people have access to inspiring environments that enable all of them to engage with their learning. We have made fantastic progress and have wonderful, award-winning schools across all parts of Scotland, which stand as testament to that. "Bertha Park will be a very welcome addition to the school estate and I look forward to seeing the project once it is complete." Councillor Caroline Shiers, Convener of the Lifelong Learning Committee, added: "This project will be a unique opportunity to build a new school community from the ground up. "We look forward to welcoming our first cohorts into the innovative learning environment that will be Bertha Park High School. The Council will work with the parents and carers of the young people who will become pupils at the new school, and continue to communicate with them throughout this process to ensure any questions are fully addressed." Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive of hub East Central Scotland, commented: "It is great to see the project progressing well and we look forward to delivering a high-quality building for the community next year. We work closely with Perth & Kinross Council to support their education and learning strategy, and this is now our sixth major school project in the region." The project forms part of Perth & Kinross Council's ongoing capital programme of school upgrades and improvements through hub East Central Scotland Ltd (hubco) to enhance the environment for learning and teaching across the area.