MSPs launch inquiry into Scottish Government funding to close attainment gap


Funding to help schools and councils close the attainment gap is the focus of a new Scottish Parliament inquiry.
The Education, Children and Young People Committee will examine the effectiveness of the Scottish Attainment Challenge in raising the attainment of children from deprived backgrounds.

A range of educational programmes are supported through this funding including support for local authorities and schools. The Scottish Government has announced it will allocate £1bn from 2021 to 2026 to support closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

In launching the inquiry, the Committee is seeking views on how the funding has benefited young people in deprived areas, what difference this has made to the attainment gap so far, and what more can be done going forward.

The Committee will also look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the attainment of pupils across Scotland over the past two years.

Speaking as the inquiry was launched, Committee Convener Stephen Kerr MSP said:

“Every pupil in Scotland deserves an equal chance to succeed, no matter their background.

“With funding for the Scottish Attainment Challenge set to increase, we need to ensure this money is making a real difference. That is why we are launching an inquiry to determine the impact the fund has made so far in closing the attainment gap.

“To assist with our inquiry, we want your views not only on the progress of the fund but also on how we can best measure its success. That way, we can make sure the money is getting to those who need it the most.”

Deputy Convener Kaukab Stewart MSP said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected young people across Scotland, but no group has been hit harder than those from deprived backgrounds.

“We need your help to better understand how the pandemic has impacted on the achievement of our pupils and how the announced new funding can best remedy these effects.”

The deadline for responses to the call for views is 8th February 2022.

You can submit your views to the Committee here:

The Scottish Attainment Challenge - Scottish Parliament - Citizen Space




The Scottish Attainment Challenge was launched in 2015 and is funded by a number of programmes including Pupil Equity Funding. A total of £750m has been spent in the five years to 2021. The Scottish Government has said it will continue the fund and increase the amount of funding to £1bn over 5five years from 2021 to 2026.


The key areas which the Committee will explore during the inquiry will be:


• What has worked well?
• What could improve?
• How is the impact of funding measured?
• What has been the impact of the pandemic on attainment and achievement in schools?



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