Schools share £120m in bid to close attainment gap

The BBC reports that almost 2,400 schools across Scotland will share more than £120m as part of Scottish government efforts to close the attainment gap.

Education Secretary John Swinney confirmed 2,387 schools would receive money from the £750m Pupil Equity Funding scheme in 2018-19. Schools in Glasgow will benefit from more than a sixth of the cash.

He said “Priority is to close the poverty-related attainment gap. This £120m of Pupil Equity Funding is aimed at doing just that.

“The 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.”

Neil Lowden, head teacher of St Francis RC Primary School, said the cash from the scheme “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”.

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA), said: “The identification of funds to those pupils who need support is always helpful but unfortunately, it is replacing other support that has been lost during a continuous programme of education cuts.

“Schools always want to make a difference to those most disadvantaged with additional teachers to assist access to the curriculum and increase inclusion to activities that most other children take for granted.”

Read more Schools share £120m in bid to close attainment gap

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