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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-21258: Elaine Smith (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 14 February 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the £1.35 million committed to initiatives with colleges and the Student Awards Agency for Scotland’s (SAAS) outreach programme in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan has been spent; where the funding has been spent; which colleges have received funding; how many people have been supported, and how the funding has been used by SAAS’s outreach programme.

Answered by: Richard Lochhead 14 March 2019

The Scottish Government Advanced Learning and Science Directorate has been allocated £1.35m, to be distributed over the course of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan implementation period, to fund pilot projects based in further education settings and via the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). £236,816 has currently been committed for Financial Year 2018-19. Of this funding, SAAS have received £150,000 to expand their Outreach Programme and Dundee and Angus college has been offered up to £86,816 in Academic Year 2018-19 to start work on a new project.

Funding provided to the college is to enable work to start in this academic year with the remainder of their funding and activity continuing in 2019-20. SAAS have been working to expand their existing outreach programme and have used this funding to target new groups. SAAS are tracking and analysing all digital activity linked to the programme.

To date, SAAS have worked with a range of stakeholders to raise awareness of available funding for at risk groups including lone parents, young families, ethnic minorities and families with disabled children. Specifically targeted activity includes; development of a financial assistance information video aimed at S2-S4 school pupils, expanded distribution of SAAS literature to include libraries, citizens advice bureaus, supermarkets and local authorities, literature produced in 8 languages and targeted community events, work with Job Centre Plus to upskill staff and claimants on available funding to learn, development of marketing products in collaboration with Young Scots Young People's Parenthood and Pregnancy Project and delivery of live streaming outreach events for rural areas with demographic and geo targeted digital advertising.

Before the end of the financial year, SAAS will also have rolled out posters to be displayed in supermarkets, continue to increase their presence in schools and deliver more live streaming events.