Schools in Dundee are set to benefit from millions of pounds worth of funding in an effort to combat the poverty-related attainment gap.
City schools will receive a total of £10 million from the Pupil Equity Fund (PEF) over the next two years to help some of the most disadvantaged pupils.
A report presented to the children and families committee on Monday outlined £5 million of additional spend would be shared across schools in the coming year, with a further £5.2 million earmarked for 2021/22.
The funds, provided by the Scottish Government, are allocated on the basis of the estimated number of children and young people in P1 to S3 registered for free school meals.
Ballumbie and St Francis’ Primary Schools, St Johns High School and St Paul’s Academy are set to receive more than £200,000 each year to support development.
Dundee schools will use the funds to support learners through the impacts of Covid-19 – with emphasis on mental health resources, additional staffing and devices to enhance digital learning at home.
it’s important that we do all we can do to make a difference to the life chances of young people in the city by spending the money wisely.”
Councillor Richard McCready.
However several councillors called for clarity on how the money is being spent within city schools to reduce the attainment gap.
West End Labour councillor Richard McCready said: “The PEF money is always to be welcomed and it’s important that we do all we can do to make a difference to the life chances of young people in the city by spending the money wisely.
“It would be helpful as a local councillor to know what each of the schools in the city are doing so that have the ability to say which approach works and doesn’t work in order to help other schools.”
Lochee councillor Michael Marra echoed the calls for in depth discussions with teaching staff.
“I find it difficult in this report to get a clear idea of what is actually happening in schools in terms of how this money is being spent to support children and closing the attainment gap,” he said.
Before the meeting, committee convener Stewart Hunter said schools had been targeting the funding towards “imaginative and innovative” projects.
He added: “PEF is an important resource as we continue to tackle the impact of poverty on attainment.
“Our schools are committed to helping children have better chances to grow and prosper through their time in the classroom to learn new skill and take on new opportunities.”