Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon has slammed a decision by the Scottish Government to cut funding for schools in deprived areas, including a reduction of almost £2 million for South Lanarkshire schools.
Last week the Scottish Government confirmed a slew of changes to education funding – including plans to abolish the Scottish Attainment Challenge Schools Programme.
This provided £7 million of direct funding to schools with high levels of deprivation to help improve the educational attainment of the poorest pupils.
In 2020/21, South Lanarkshire received £1,952,129 through this important scheme.
The cut is part of wider reform of the Scottish Attainment Challenge, which will see a total of £25.5 million cut from its programmes and £43 million re-allocated, with the most deprived areas facing the most savage cuts.
Monica has described these cuts as “cruel” saying the move shows the SNP has abandoned its pledge to close the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland.
“These cruel cuts will hit the most deprived young people in South Lanarkshire’s schools. Scrapping the Scottish Attainment Challenge programme make no sense from a government that claims education is its top priority.
“When schools continue to face disruption from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it beggars belief that the Scottish Government would choose this moment to make such devastating cuts to the poorest children’s education.
“Teachers and school staff are struggling with increasing workloads and targeted interventions are required to address the impacts of poverty in our most deprived schools. Young people deserve better, and I call on the leadership at South Lanarkshire Council to urge their own ministers in Edinburgh to abandon these cuts.”