Orkney and Shetland MSPs criticise lack of attainment gap funding for Northern Isles

MSPs Liam McArthur and Tavish Scott expressed their concern today that twelve local authorities, including Orkney and Shetland, are to be excluded from £11.5 million in government funding to close the attainment gap. 

The Scottish Government recently announced the distribution of funds to secondary schools based on area rather than targeting individual children in need.

The MSPs for Orkney and Shetland have written a joint letter to Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney calling for a fairer approach.  

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott commented:

“The Scottish Government has chosen to allocate funding to over 100 secondary schools, but not one school in Shetland or Orkney made the list. 

“The Scottish government has made a misguided decision in choosing to prioritise some students over others. Children in the Northern Isles living in poverty are being unfairly passed over for this vital government funding.” 

Liam McArthur, Orkney MSP, added:

“The Liberal Democrats have long promoted an individual-based approach to address the attainment gap. The Scottish Government’s refusal to adopt such a policy has led to patchwork funding across Scotland. 

“The First Minister has said she wants to “substantially eliminate” the attainment gap over the next ten years. This funding policy does not do nearly enough to ensure that all children in need see the real benefits of that pledge.”

Notes: A copy of the joint letter to John Swinney can be found here

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