The Scottish Government has announced its intention to cut Attainment Challenge Funding. For years, the Scottish Government has distributed an annual fund of £43 million to to nine “challenge authorities”, four of which are in West Scotland, reflecting the poverty and deprivation in the region. Now, the plan is to distribute the same £43million across all 32 local authorities from 2022/23. This will see many councils lose millions of pounds a year, which could leave many to cut support for frontline services and potential new posts.

It is appalling that the Scottish Government is choosing to make cuts to the education of the poorest children in our poorest communities, particularly when children have suffered the most during this pandemic. The First Minister has previously stated that closing the attainment gap was her number one objective in government. This will do nothing to achieve that aim.