£1.8m to raise standards in Borders schools

Eyemouth Primary School
Eyemouth Primary School

A £1.8m pot of money from the Scottish Government is being shared by 68 schools in the Borders, with individual schools deciding on how it will be spent.

The £120m pupil equity fund is one of the tools the Scottish Government is using to raise standards nationwide.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “We welcome the announcement that pupils from across the Scottish Borders are due to benefit from £1,840,800 of Scottish Government funding, which is the amount our headteachers were expecting to receive to support their ongoing commitment to raising attainment for their pupils.

“They are currently engaging with the Scottish Government and the council to agree how the money will be used from April onwards, with each school required to submit a plan to the government for approval.

“We anticipate that each school will use the money in quite different ways, depending on the needs of their individual pupils.”

Primary schools in the region will receive between £130,800 and £6,000, with Borders’ high schools share ranging from £86,400 down to £36,000.

Berwickshire primary schools’ shares will be Ayton £10,800; Chirnside £37,200; Coldingham £8,400; Coldstream £36,000; Duns £45,600; Eyemouth £90,000; Gordon £6000; Greenlaw £20,400; Reston £13,200; Swinton £12,000.

Berwickshire High School is to get £50,400 from the fund, and Eyemouth High School will get £48,000.

The money is due to be received by the schools in April, and headteachers are currently working out how the money will be best spent in their individual schools.

The pupil equity funding is to be targeted to help those children most affected by the poverty-related attainment gap. It is being distributed on the basis of the numbers of pupils in P1-S3 known to be eligible and registered for free school meals.

Pupil equity funding is provided on top of the existing £50m Attainment Scotland funding to support authorities and schools supporting children and young people in greatest need.

The Scottish Government will provide £170m during 2017-18 towards its commitment to allocate £750m through the Attainment Scotland fund during the course of this Parliament.

Welcoming the money due to 59 primary schools and nine high schools in the Borders, south of Scotland SNP list MSP Paul Wheelhouse said: “The Scottish Government has made closing the educational attainment gap our number one priority for this Parliamentary session, given its importance for pupils’ life prospects as well as providing skills for our economy.

“Our new £120m pupil equity fund is aimed at doing just that, supporting schools across the Borders.

“This new announcement will let local parents, teachers and school leaders in the Borders see how much additional funding they can expect to receive to further drive up standards and support pupils to achieve their full potential.”