Gov­ern­ment ed­u­ca­tion cash for Fife ‘lu­di­crously un­fair’

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS -

Fife’s chil­dren have been short-changed by a Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment fund­ing an­nounce­ment, it has been claimed.

The Lib­eral Democrats ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son in Fife, coun­cil­lor James Calder, says that the £1 mil­lion awarded to the re­gion as part of the Scot­tish At­tain­ment Chal­lenge Fund­ing is dis­pro­por­tion­ate.

Fears were ex­pressed by the Con­ser­va­tive MSP Liz Smith last week that a “post­code lot­tery” was de­vel­op­ing af­ter Dundee re­ceived £5.6m from the fund, de­signed to close the at­tain­ment gap for pupils from de­prived back­grounds.

Mr Calder said: “In Fife we have the third high­est num­ber of pupils liv­ing in the ar­eas with the most de­pri­va­tion and the fifth high­est num­ber of pupils at­tend­ing schools with high lev­els of de­pri­va­tion.

“This in­di­cates to me that Fife Coun­cil should be re­ceiv­ing a very high share of the re­sources re­quired from the Scot­tish At­tain­ment Chal­lenge Fund­ing.”

“De­spite the in­di­ca­tions that Fife should be one of the high­est re­cip­i­ents of this im­por­tant fund­ing, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has de­cided to see fit that we are not even in the top 10 lo­cal au­thor­i­ties for fund­ing.

“This seems to be lu­di­crously un­fair and I call on the gov­ern­ment to re­view their for­mula in de­cid­ing how its fund­ing is de­liv­ered to en­sure Fife chil­dren get their fair share.”

Last week the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment said that fund­ing was al­lo­cated based on “where the need is great­est”.

John Swinney, Deputy First Min­is­ter, added that the ad­di­tional cash al­lowed lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and in­di­vid­ual schools to tai­lor their spend­ing plans ac­cord­ingly.

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