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£2.9m funding targeted at ‘fairer’ education

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
£2.9m funding targeted at 'fairer' education

THERE has been a £2.9 million boost for selected schools across Dumfries and Galloway aimed at improving the education of disadvantaged children.

TARGETED FUNDING . . . Lincluden Primary School at Dumfries will receive £102,000

The allocation of the extra funding from the Scottish Government Pupil Equity Funding scheme was this week announced by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

Exactly how the money is spent is left to the discretion of the school leaders but has to be targeted at closing the poverty related attainment gap.

Commenting on the £120 million being spent nationally through the scheme, Mr Swinney said: “It is unacceptable for children from the poorest backgrounds to have their chances limited by circumstances outside their control.”

The £2,881,200 earmarked for Dumfries and Galloway is being shared among 16 secondaries, 92 primaries and one special school.

One of the largest sums allocated goes to Lincluden Primary which will receive £102,000 with other Dumfries primaries, Laurieknowe receiving £74,400, Lochside £96,000 and Georgetown £32,400.

In the former mining area of Upper Nithsdale, Kelloholm Primary has been awarded £68,400 and Sanquahar Primary School £49,200 while in The Stewartry £87,600 goes to Castle Douglas Primary School and further west Stranraer’s Park Primary School receives £129,600.

Among the recipients in Annandale and Eskdale are Newington Primary with £81,600; Gretna Primary £62,400; Lockerbie Primary £66,000; Lochmaben Primary £40,800; Annan’s Hecklegirth School £38,400; Moffat Primary £32,400; Langholm Primary £26,400; St Columba’s RC Primary at Annan £20,400; Hoddom Primary £19, 200; Beattock School £13,200; Canonbie Primary £8,400; Eastriggs School £7,200; Johnstonebridge School £13,200; Kirkpatrick Fleming School £7,200; Springfield Primary £7,200 and St. Mungo School, Kettleholm £7,200.

IMPROVING CHANCES . . . Deputy First Minister John Swinney

Secondary schools receiving funding included Annan Academy £56,400; Dumfries Academy £52,800; Lockerbie Academy £49,200; Maxwelltown High School £70,800; Moffat Academy £20,400; Sanquhar Academy £44,400 and St. Joseph’s College, Dumfries £37,200.

The highest secondary school award in the region, £110,400, goes to Stranraer Academy.

Langlands Special School in Dumfries receives £8,400.

South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine last night welcomed the announcement.

She said: “Every child in Scotland should have the best possible start in life, and it is unacceptable for children from the poorest backgrounds to have their chances limited by circumstances outside their control.

“The SNP Scottish Government has made closing the poverty-related attainment gap our number one priority and our new £120-million Pupil Equity Fund is aimed at doing just that.”

She added: “This new announcement will let parents, teachers and school leaders in Dumfries and Galloway see how much funding they can expect to drive up standards and tackle the inter-generational cycle of deprivation in their school.”

But Dumfries and Galloway Council education chairman, Labour councillor Jeff Leaver, was less enthusiastic accusing the Scottish Government of taking funds from the local authority with one hand and giving back less with another.

He stated that the attainment funding awarded to the region’s schools was just over a tenth of the level of cuts the council faces.

Cllr Leaver said: “This funding doesn’t begin to cover up the fact £20m of cuts are being imposed, including on education, by the Scottish Government.

“It’s the equivalent of the Government snatching £20 out of a pupil’s pocket and then giving them £2.80 back and telling them £2.80 is extra money.”



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