Date lodged: 30 November 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it gave to rurality when designing the Pupil Equity Fund.
Answered by: John Swinney 12 December 2017
Through the Scottish Attainment Challenge we have committed £750 million over the course of this parliament to tackle the poverty related attainment gap. This includes £120m Pupil Equity Funding in 2017-18 allocated to schools on the basis of the number of children and young people in P1-S3 known to be eligible for free school meals, a recognised proxy for families affected by poverty. Pupil Equity Funding extended the reach of the Scottish Attainment Challenge to every local authority in Scotland and provides additional resources to the majority of schools in rural communities.
The Government issued guidance on the use of Pupil Equity Funding to support schools and local authorities to work in partnership and to plan how to effectively invest the additional funds. This guidance is available on the Government website at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/Schools/Raisingeducationalattainment/pupilequityfund/guidance. This sets out that Headteachers can work at an individual school, cluster or community level to address common interests. This may include, for example, how best to target the funding to address the impact of rural deprivation on the educational outcomes of children and young people.
We are committed to developing national programmes to further extend the reach of the Scottish Attainment Challenge and are engaging with stakeholders to consider the impact of rural deprivation on attainment.