Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire has criticised the SNP Government after their Education Secretary revealed that local children are set to miss out on support from a new attainment fund.
Figures have revealed that there are significant gaps in attainment between children from poorer families and those from advantaged backgrounds. For example, 28% of children from poorer families perform well in numeracy, compared to 56% of those from advantaged families. Children from poorer families are also more likely to leave school early and without a qualification.
Despite this, in a statement to the Scottish Parliament, the SNP Education Secretary said that the only beneficiaries of the Attainment Scotland Fund would be pupils in Glasgow, Dundee, Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire, North Ayrshire, Clackmannanshire and North Lanarkshire leaving poor pupils in East Dunbartonshire and the rest of Scotland without any support.
Commenting Jo said:
“If the SNP is serious about closing the attainment gap then the Scottish Government needs to tackle child poverty right across the country. Not a single penny of the £20million made available in their attainment fund will be spent outside seven local authorities.
“Children from poorer backgrounds are to be found in all parts of Scotland and all are equally deserving of this sort of help. Resources should be targeted at pupils in need – a poor pupil in Bearsden is as deserving as one in Clydebank.
“There is a much better model to be followed in the Pupil Premium introduced by the Coalition Government where money is targeted at those students who need the most help and given directly to their school. This has been widely praised and avoids the postcode lottery that is a feature of so many aspects of our public services.”