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A holistic approach to fair funding for education

Children in Scotland has called for a more holistic approach to education funding so that money is targeted effectively and contributes to narrowing the attainment gap.

In our response to the Scottish Government consultation Education Governance: Fair Funding to achieve Equity and Excellence in Education we raise concerns about plans to direct a greater proportion of funding away from local authority control to individual schools, school clusters or new ‘regional improvement collaboratives’.

We acknowledge the advantage of devolving funding to schools or school clusters to allow them to respond to aspects of local need. However, this has clear implications for workload and could remove some of the vital support that is coordinated at local authority-level for pupils with additional support needs. Enquire, the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning hears from parents who already struggle to access input from specialists such as educational psychologists, speech, language and communications therapists and others.

The introduction of ‘regional improvement collaboratives’ could also add an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy and further complicate the provision of additional support for learning, which all children have a right to receive if they need it.

Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, said: “Planning at local authority level provides the opportunity to identify need and plan service provision across the whole local authority population.

“It helps ensure a consistent approach to providing specialists, therapists and other joint NHS and wellbeing services. We are concerned that altering the funding structures, and in particular devolving funding responsibility to schools, could increase the element of post-code lottery in the Scottish education system.

“As raised in our previous response to the Scottish Government’s consultation Education Governance: Next Steps, a much broader approach is required to close the attainment gap. Schools cannot do it alone, and funding structures must reflect this.”

Read Jackie’s blog ‘The attainment gap cannot be closed by teachers alone’ here.

Read our full response the Scottish Government consultation 'Education Governance: Fair Funding to achieve Equity and Excellence in Education' here.


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