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Created: 26 February 2016 | Last Updated: 26 February 2016 | Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version | Make Text Smaller Make Text Larger |

New Funding to Tackle Attainment Gap Must be Properly Targeted

Friday 26 February 2016

The EIS has welcomed the announcement that an additional £80M will be made available to tackle the attainment gap.

While welcoming the additional investment in theJohn Swinney MSP Attainment Scotland Fund, announced earlier this week by Deputy First Minister John Swinney (pictured) in his financial statement, the EIS has called for the funding to be properly targeted in light of the recurring challenge in recruiting qualified teachers in many parts of Scotland.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS very much welcomes the additional investment of £80M in the Attainment Scotland Fund.

"It is absolutely right that we should continue to target the persistent poverty-related attainment gap that exists across Scotland, in order to ensure that every pupil has a fair chance to reach their potential.

"For too long, the greatest barrier to attainment for many young people has been the financial circumstances in which they grow up rather than their own ability to learn."

Mr Flanagan added, "However, as welcome as this new funding is, the Scottish Government must ensure that this money is targeted properly and used effectively.

"The most important resource that can be deployed to raise attainment and tackle inequality is additional teachers in the classroom.

"Other schemes around the world, on which the Attainment Scotland Fund is based, have largely been successful by increasing the number of teachers in schools to lower class sizes and allow each pupil an enhanced learning experience.

"Given the recurring recruitment challenges that exist in many parts of Scotland, the Scottish Government must take steps to ensure that this new funding can be utilised to attract additional qualified teachers into the classrooms where they are needed."