Broad-brush funding approach failing to close attainment gap

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Liam McArthur MSP has warned that by distributing funding aimed at closing the attainment gap to individual councils and schools, the Scottish Government is ignoring the needs of disadvantaged children across the country as a whole.

Additional funding to improve educational attainment in a number of schools was announced by the First Minister today but Liberal Democrats are concerned children in the 11 council areas not receiving a share are missing out.

Commenting following the announcement Mr McArthur said:

“It’s taken the SNP far too long to wake up to the challenge of closing the attainment gap in Scotland. This funding announcement will be welcome news to the local authorities and schools it benefits but what about the children in the other 11 council areas?

“Thanks to Liberal Democrats, children in England are allocated a pupil premium based on their individual needs. By contrast, the Scottish Government’s stubborn insistence on an area-based approach still ignores the needs of children in many communities across Scotland.

“This broad-brush approach fails to acknowledge there are children in real need living in every part of the country. As such, it is difficult to see how the First Minister is living up to her promise to close the attainment gap completely.”

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