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08/11/2018

Digital-Focused High School Opens In Midlothian

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A new digital-focused school has officially opened in Dalkeith, Midlothian, by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills opened Newbattle High School yesterday, Wednesday 07 November.

The school, described as a 'Digital Centre of Excellence', forms part of the £38 million Newbattle Community Campus, which includes a new public library, gym, sports facilities, a swimming pool and community meeting spaces.

Mr Swinney said: "It was my pleasure to officially open the Newbattle Community Campus and I would like to thank Midlothian Council for its continued commitment to its school estate.  

"Newbattle High School's state of the art facilities were constructed as a part of the Scottish Government's £1.8 billion Scotland's Schools for the Future building programme and is an example of the Scottish Government's ongoing commitment to our young people, parents and educators.

"The Scottish Government was able to provide funding of over £20 million towards the construction of Newbattle High School. By March 2020, 117 schools will be replaced or refurbished as part of the programme to innovate and inspire new generations of learners."

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Activities within the school will also be closely aligned with the Data-Driven Innovation Programme being led by the University of Edinburgh. It aims to provide the skills needed to support the digital and data economy of the future.

Midlothian Council's cabinet member for education, Cllr Jim Muirhead said: "We're proud to be working with the University of Edinburgh to ensure the high school is a world-class hub of innovation.

"We're committed to tackling the cycle of poverty by making sure all of our pupils, whatever their background, have the same fantastic learning opportunities.

"Young people from across Midlothian and beyond, therefore, will have the opportunity to study digital industries such as robotics, data science, informatics, digital marketing, graphic design, video and music production.  

"We want them to leave school with high level skills that will allow them to compete in the global knowledge economy."

Head teacher Gib McMillan said: "I am so proud of the way that the new campus has come together. Huge amounts of consultation have resulted in something very special here. A key part of the success is the daily intergenerational working between community users and school students. In school we have tracked increased engagement and work with a range of pivotal partners delivering a truly motivating curriculum. Our technology as a Digital Centre of Excellence is fantastic. Through this, we are pioneering a number of projects with demonstrable impact to close the attainment gap. I would like to thank all of our partners and users for their continued support."

(CM)

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