Ef­forts to close the child poverty gap in ru­ral Perth and Kin­ross

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

At face value, Perth and Kin­ross might seem like an idyl­lic, wealthy area with its shoot­ing es­tates, sal­mon rivers and pic­ture-post­card tourism mar­ket­ing.

But it too hides pock­ets of child poverty – not just in Perth city but also in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

The area was cho­sen as a pi­lot area to break the cy­cle of child poverty, and the sit­u­a­tion was fur­ther ac­knowl­edged by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment last month when it was an­nounced that more than 2,300 schools across Scot­land, in­clud­ing 74 in Perth and Kin­ross, are to ben­e­fit from £120 mil­lion of Pupil Eq­uity Fund­ing over the course of the next year.

The 74 schools in Perth and Kin­ross will re­ceive a share of £1,662,520. Al­lo­ca­tions are based on the num­ber of pupils from pri­mary one to S3 who are el­i­gi­ble and reg­is­tered for free school meals. The money forms part of the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s draft bud­get for 2018/19.

John Swin­ney, the SNP MSP for Perthshire North, said: “The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to clos­ing the poverty-re­lated at­tain­ment gap. This £1.6m of Pupil Eq­uity Fund­ing be­ing tar­geted in the lo­cal area is aimed at do­ing just that.

“Ev­ery child has the right to the best pos­si­ble start in life, no mat­ter their back­ground. Schools have a sig­nif­i­cant role to play.”

Ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter John Swin­ney.

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