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Extra cash pledge to help close attainment gap

Image credit: Scottish Parliament

Extra cash pledge to help close attainment gap

An extra £50m will be spent on trying to close the poverty-related attainment gap, the Scottish Government has announced.

Education Secretary John Swinney confirmed the funding as the results of a Scotland-wide survey of more than 500 headteachers showed almost nine out of 10 had seen improvement in closing the poverty-related gap in attainment or wellbeing.

In addition, a further 95 per cent said they expected additional improvement over the next five years.

Swinney said: “I welcome these survey findings which echo the promising early results we are already seeing in closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

“This funding will enable that vital work to continue in the areas where it is needed most.

“We use a range of indicators to measure the attainment gap, including official statistics, which show an increase at all levels of attainment since 2009-10 but it is extremely encouraging that the majority of headteachers are noticing improvements in their own school communities too.

“I look forward to seeing how the schools and local authorities who will benefit from this additional £50 million use their allocation to ensure every child has an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

The Attainment Scotland Fund – a £750m commitment over the course of this parliamentary term - was established to support the Scottish Attainment Challenge in 2015.

The Challenge Authorities Programme provides targeted funding to the nine local authorities with the highest concentration of pupils living in poverty.

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