What is Pupil Equity Funding?
Pupil Equity Funding is money that will go to your child's school to help them provide the best possible opportunities for children's learning.
In particular, it is there to help the school support children who experience barriers to learning and who might be falling behind or not getting the same chances in their education because their family is experiencing poverty or other financial difficulties.
This money is given to schools as part of the Scottish Government's Scottish Attainment Challenge.
Why is the Scottish Government providing the Pupil Equity Funding?
The Scottish Government wants to see every child succeed and achieve their full potential. That's why we have decided to give extra money to schools to help them to make education fairer.
Who is the Pupil Equity Funding for?
Pupil Equity Funding is designed to support children in Primary 1 to S3 who are eligible and registered for free school meals.
However, Headteachers can use their judgement to support other children in their school who are affected by poverty.
How much will be provided to schools?
How much money your child's school receives will depend on how many children are registered for free school meals. For every child that is registered, the school will receive £1,200 in addition to their normal budget. You can see a list of how much each school will receive on the Scottish Government website.
My child receives free school meals. Can I decide how their £1,200 is spent?
No. The headteacher of your child's school will work with other headteachers and the local authority who is in charge of education in your area, to make decisions about how to use the money.
For example, they might introduce new activities in the school to support children's literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. They will have to show how they are using the money to improve how well children are learning, particularly children experiencing poverty.
How will headteachers know if the extra funding is making an impact?
Schools will have to demonstrate the difference the funding has made to children affected by poverty. Headteachers will be accountable to their local authority and they will also include Pupil Equity Funding plans in their existing reports provided to their respective Parent Council and Forum.
Can parents and carers have a say in how the money is used?
As with other aspects of the life and work of your child's school, parents and carers should be kept informed by their school and have the chance to share their thoughts and ideas on how the money could be spent as part of the school plans.
This could be through the Parent Council or it might be through other parent associations or discussion groups. Schools are being encouraged to be creative about the ways they work with families, carers, the third sectors and others around the ways they use the money.
What can headteachers use Pupil Equity Funding for?
There is quite a lot of flexibility about how headteachers can use the money, as long as it is used in ways which have been proven to help improve outcomes for children and young people who are affected by poverty. Headteachers cannot use the money to pay for things that were already planned and/or budgeted for.
How can I get more information?
Your school's headteacher will be able to provide further information about the use of Pupil Equity Funding in your child's school.
Additional information about Pupil Equity Funding more generally is available at: http://www.beta.gov.scot/policies/schools
Education Scotland has published advice to schools on how to make best possible use of their funding and is available at: https://education.gov.scot/improvement/interventions-for-equity-a-framework-to-support-pupil-equity-funding
The Scottish Government
Tel: 0131 244 4000 or 0300 244 4000 (for local rate throughout UK and for mobile)