Dundee Primary highlighted as cash announced to tackle attainment gap

Dundee Primary highlighted as cash announced to tackle attainment gap Image

Scotland’s schools are in line to receive a share of over Β£120 million next year to help close the poverty-related attainment gap, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced. 

Pupil Equity Funding is being allocated to 2,388 schools from the Scottish Government’s Β£750 million Attainment Scotland Fund in 2018/19.

The money will be spent at the discretion of teachers and school leaders on localised initiatives to close the poverty related attainment gap.

Mr Swinney announced the funding on a visit to St Francis RC Primary School in Dundee, who have been using part of their funding in 2017/18 to provide a six-week summer school focused on literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing for their pupils living in the most deprived areas.

Mr Swinney said:

β€œEvery child should have the best possible start in life, no matter their background. Schools have a significant role to play in ensuring every child is given the right support to help them achieve their full potential.

β€œOur priority is to close the poverty-related attainment gap. This Β£120 million of Pupil Equity Funding is aimed at doing just that.

β€œThe funding is targeted towards schools who have the highest numbers of pupils receiving free school meals, so that the money is spent on the children who need it most.

β€œLast year’s allocation is already making a big impact. I have visited a number of schools up and down the country where this funding has empowered teachers to put in place creative new initiatives that are tackling the attainment gap in their schools right now.

β€œI hope this second round of funding will help schools to build on that progress, supported by our reforms to education that will raise standards for all and put excellence and equity at the heart of Scottish education.”

Neil Lowden, the Headteacher of St Francis RC Primary School, said:

"I believe the introduction of the Pupil Equity Funding has had a significant impact on how I have managed my school in terms of the absolute focus on raising attainment in literacy and numeracy as well as improving outcomes in health and wellbeing for the children in St Francis. 

β€œThere is no doubt that having this extra resource has allowed me to further develop the work of the Scottish Attainment Challenge to provide high quality targeted interventions to close the attainment gap. 

β€œAs a Headteacher the Pupil Equity Funding has fundamentally allowed our school community to make a real and significant difference to the lives of the children who come through our doors every day. I am delighted to see a further commitment being made by the Scottish Government and I very much welcome Mr Swinney's announcement.”

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