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03/02/17 12:41

Closing the attainment gap

£120 million Pupil Equity Funding.

Children’s lives will be transformed by the Scottish Government’s new £120 million Pupil Equity Funding scheme, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has been told by head teachers.

At an event in Edinburgh today, Mr Swinney heard how schools are planning to spend their share of the funding which is aimed at closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

It comes after the DFM confirmed individual school allocations which will see a total of 2,374 schools receive thousands of pounds to target support where it is needed the most.

Mr Swinney said:

“I have been hearing today how the Scottish Government’s Pupil Equity Funding has the potential to transform the lives of our most disadvantaged children.

“This £120 million funding will be spent at the discretion of teachers and school leaders who are best placed to decide where it will have the most impact. Some of the options being discussed include additional teachers to help with numeracy or literacy, out of school activities to widen children’s life experiences, and home link workers to help get children to school.

“We are ring-fencing this funding in 2017/18 in addition to the existing £50 million Attainment Scotland Fund and the strong settlement for local government in our draft budget.

“This represents a significant investment in the future of our young people and demonstrates this Government’s commitment to raise standards for all and make the improvements that are necessary to make Scottish education world-class.”

Lindsey Watt, head teacher of Castleview Primary School in Edinburgh said:

“This Pupil Equity Funding gives us a fantastic opportunity to become the school we always wanted to be, which will help our children realise their full potential. Castleview has already had funding through the Attainment Challenge which we invested in identifying and targeting children for extra support in literacy and numeracy. A whole school mentoring project supported pupils and parents and our children are now able to recognise the successes they have achieved in meeting their newly identified targets. The next step for us is to eradicate the poverty of ambition in our learning community, which will be truly transformative. We are working with our Parent Council to identify ways in which we can do this, starting with Early Years."

 

Background

The Pupil Equity Funding allocations were confirmed on 1 February 2017: http://news.gov.scot/news/pupil-equity-funding

The £120 million Pupil Equity Funding and £50 million Attainment Scotland Funding – a total of £170 million for 2017-18 – will contribute to our commitment to allocate £750 million during the course of this Parliament through the Attainment Scotland Fund to tackle the attainment gap.

Every head teacher in Scotland has been invited to one of eight events taking place this month around Scotland. The others are being held in Glasgow (two events), Stirling, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and Ayr. These will provide an opportunity to hear from colleagues from across the country on their work to close the attainment gap while also offering a chance for some early work on future planning for this funding.