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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00409: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 1 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the pledge in the 2016 SNP manifesto to increase investment in the Scottish Attainment Fund by £750 million over the course of the current parliamentary session, how many local authorities will receive money under the expanded fund and on what date it will be expanded.

Answered by: John Swinney 15 June 2016

All local authorities will be supported by the £750 million investment during this parliamentary session. The Attainment Scotland Fund already provides support to 21 local authorities who receive funding either as a challenge authority or have schools in the schools programme.

I made a number of announcements last week about the expansion of the Scottish Attainment Challenge to increase its scope, reach and pace. Existing challenge authorities will receive up to £20 million from the Attainment Scotland Fund during this year, and we will add East Ayrshire and Renfrewshire to the Challenge Authorities Programme – both of which have significant levels of multiple deprivation. I also announced the extension of the challenge into secondary schools in challenge authority areas as well as those which are associated with the schools in the Primary Schools Programme.

The Attainment Scotland Fund will also continue to support a package of universal support which has been developed to support all local authorities across Scotland, such as the Innovation Fund. From 2017, the £100 million that will be raised each year from our local tax reforms will be allocated directly to schools, based on the numbers of children in each school who meet the eligibility criteria for free school meals. This will mean all local authorities in Scotland will receive funding from the Attainment Scotland Fund.