Date lodged: 8 June 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to ensure that spending on education is targeted at areas where the attainment gap is greatest.
Answered by: John Swinney 15 June 2016
We will allocate £750 million during the course of this Parliament through the Attainment Scotland Fund to tackle the attainment gap, targeting resources at those children, schools and communities most in need. The Scottish Government, through the Attainment Scotland Fund, already provides funding to those primary schools and authorities identified as having the highest concentrations of Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 1 and 2. I announced last week that we would extend our area based approach to two more local authorities so that there are now nine challenge authorities, and extend the scope of the challenge to secondary schools. Children are affected by poverty related disadvantage all over Scotland, therefore as part of the £750 million package, we will allocate an additional £100 million that will be raised each year as a result of our council tax reforms to schools, on the basis of the number of eligible children that meet the criteria for free school meals.