North Ayrshire Council is paying out just more than £12million a year to private companies for just four schools.

The astonishing figures come from a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) submitted by GMB Scotland. Union bosses this week branded the figure “obscene”.

Greenwood Academy, St Matthews Academy, Stanley Primary and Arran High School. were all built using PPP agreements, where firms front up the cash for investment projects.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “The council has well established and robust processes in place to ensure the contractors deliver the PPP contracts in line with their obligations.

“We keep our PPP contracts under review.”