The Herald on Sunday

Record funding pledged to close attainment gap


SCHOOLS will receive a record £215 million funding for efforts to close the poverty attainment gap this year, with the new Education Secretary saying such work is “more vital than ever” due to the pandemic.

Shirley-Anne Somerville said the cash, the largest sum ever handed out in a single year to tackle the issue, will fund “targeted help” for the most disadvanta­ged students.

It will see head teachers across the country share £147m in Pupil Equity Funding in 2021/22, with the money going directly to schools for them to determine how best to use it.

In addition, the nine councils with the highest concentrat­ions of deprivatio­n in Scotland – known as Challenge Authoritie­s – will share a further £43m.

Work to help improve the attainment of youngsters who have been in care, including through schemes such as mentoring programmes, will receive up to £12m.

A further £7m will be shared between 73 schools with the highest concentrat­ion of pupils from deprived areas.

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