Local schools continue to count the cost of Labour’s toxic PFI legacy, which will see Falkirk Council spend 8.4% of its schools budget for the coming year servicing debt racked up more than a decade ago.

Analysis by independent researchers at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre has revealed pupils are still paying a high price for the controversial funding method used by Labour during its time in government.

Falkirk Council will have to spend £13.3million of its £157.5million schools budget for 2018-19 on PFI unitary charges. Across Scotland, the payments will amount to £432.8million out of a total resource budget of £5.159billion.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “As we approach the start of the new school year, this research highlights how taxpayers are still burdened with Labour’s debt from more than 10 years ago.

“Pupils are also suffering as a result, because money that councils could have been using to appoint more teachers or buy books and other supplies is having to be used to pay for Labour’s private finance initiative mistakes instead.

“The unfortunate reality is that schools across Scotland are going to be saddled with this bill for years to come and an apology from Labour for this disgraceful and toxic legacy from its time in power is long overdue.”