Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie has today accused the Education Secretary of diverting vital funds for disadvantaged children to fund police in schools.
Mr Rennie's topical question asked the Scottish Government "what immediate action it will take, in light of recent reports that nearly £2 million in Pupil Equity Funding has been spent on police officers in schools since 2018".
He went on to say:
“The Education Secretary does really need to cut the slopy shoulders act because the pupil equity funding operational guidance, which I have read and I am sure she wrote, encourages this kind of spending.
“It says “Consideration should be given to how the school can work with community partners beyond education…” so this is her doing.
“The children’s charity Aberlour, who made this discovery, want to know what the evidence is that police in schools will help children’s learning. So, where is the evidence?”
“There is no evidence that police in schools will help close the poverty related attainment gap - by 2026 or whatever the policy is this week. Yet her operational guidance still encourages it.
“What a slur on children from disadvantaged backgrounds. They have been branded by their government as criminals before they have even had their first lesson.
“It’s the money that is supposed to follow the child, not the police. Will the Education Secretary revise the operational guidance without delay to prevent vital funds for education being diverted to fund police in schools?”