£10m to help close attainment gap21/10/20
Details of more than £10 million of funding over the next two years to help reduce the poverty-related attainment gap in schools across Dundee will be outlined to the children and families services committee.
An update on the use of Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) will explain that for the current financial year £5.069 million of additional spend has been made available in the city through the Scottish Government, with a further a further £5.286 million for 2021/22.
Closure of schools because of coronavirus has seen PEF used to enhance access to digitallearning including the purchase of tablets and laptops for home use, as well as additional professional development to support staff to provide digital learning.
The committee, on Monday October 26, will hear that additional family workers have been funded to engage and involve parents and carers in their children’s learning and improve family learning opportunities.
Much of this activity takes place after school and during holidays and includes providing food for families. This work was seen to be invaluable during the recent lockdown, where children were not accessing schools for food and learning.
Other projects involving outdoor learning and initiatives focused on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people are highlighted in a report on PEF spending.
Committee convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “Schools have been targeting considerable resources from the Scottish Government into a range of imaginative and innovative projects which are really making a difference to the lives of young people.
“There are many extra challenges that have been posed by the coronavirus crisis and PEF has helped as schools have responded to changing circumstances.”
Cllr Hunter 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.
“I would like to praise our teachers and everyone who works in our schools for their efforts in this task.”
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