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Scotland's Budget: Draft Budget 2017-18

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Chapter 6 Education and Skills

Portfolio responsibilities

Education is our Government's defining mission: to improve the life chances of our children. The Education and Skills portfolio is responsible for government policy related to transforming the lives of our children and young people as well as developing and championing the social care workforce. This includes all aspects of early years provision; support for children and families; school education; further and higher education; university research, innovation and knowledge exchange; science; community and adult learning and development, and the promotion of Gaelic.

The Portfolio also has responsibility for producing a skilled workforce and providing opportunities for young people to move into sustained employment.

Our priorities

Our priorities cover three main themes. To ensure our children and young people get the best possible start in life, to raise standards in our schools and close the educational attainment gap and to create opportunities for all through widening access to higher, further and vocational education.

Our universal approach to prevention starts from the very earliest age. Our plan to provide a Baby Box to every baby born in Scotland is part of the early engagement of families. We will continue to invest in early learning and childcare (ELC) as we work towards delivering the increased entitlement of 1,140 hours a year by the end of this Parliament. Our vision is for this expansion to deliver high quality, flexible early learning and childcare which is affordable and accessible for all. This policy has huge potential to transform the lives of children and their families while improving the prospects of Scotland's economy.

We will continue to tackle inequalities and improve outcomes for our youngest and most disadvantaged children, including through the work of the Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative. In addition, as part of the Child Protection Improvement Programme, we are specifically improving practice within universal services to tackle neglect and are reviewing the Child Protection Systems.

Reflecting our broadening ambitions to tackle disadvantage and make significant, lasting improvements to the life chances of our most vulnerable children and young people, we have committed to undertake a 'root and branch' review of the care system. This will be driven by the voices and experiences of care-experienced young people themselves and will ensure those children and young people who need corporate parents for any length of time are able to feel claimed and loved from the earliest point and through into adulthood.

We will continue to pursue the twin goals of raising standards for all and closing the attainment gap through the implementation of our National Improvement Plan. By investing resources through our Attainment Scotland Fund, we will target funding at schools and local authorities in greatest need. We will include significant additional resource through the Pupil Equity Funding programme increased to £120 million for 2017-18 - £20 million more than previously planned. We will also empower teachers, schools and communities with the tools required to deliver for our children and young people. We will reduce workloads for teachers including the removal of mandatory unit assessments at National 5, Highers and Advanced Highers over the next three years. We will gather information on achievement of Curriculum for Excellence levels, based on a system of teacher judgement supported, next year, by the new national standardised assessments. This will help teachers identify individual progress and help everyone to focus efforts where they are most needed. Our continuing work through dedicated programmes such as Read, Write, Count will provide parents and families with resources to support learning from an early age.

We will continue to invest in the quality of our teaching profession by creating opportunities for teachers to undertake high quality professional learning, while encouraging the development of high performing school leaders in conjunction with the Scottish College for Educational Leadership. We will attract more talented graduates into the profession and will work with the universities and the General Teaching Council for Scotland to diversify the available routes to teaching. We will also continue to invest in Scotland's school estate through the Schools for the Future programme.

As announced in the 'Programme for Government', we will review the 15-24 learner journey to ensure young people are supported to make well-informed choices and can achieve the best qualifications and outcomes. The learner journey review aims to further improve the post-16 system, enabling young people to access the right options and move more easily through the system towards employment. This will sit alongside the Developing Scotland's Young Workforce Programme, which is taking forward our ambitions to equip our young people with the skills, experiences and qualifications needed to secure positive destinations after they leave school.

Our college sector provides a modern, responsive and valued part of our education and training system. We will increase our investment in our college sector to ensure that it continues to add real value to our economy and offer opportunities to adults of all ages. We will continue to maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent college places.

This Government believes in access to higher education being based on a student's ability to learn, not their ability to pay. We will continue to protect free university tuition for all eligible undergraduates. Our widening access programme will support our ambition that a child born today in one of our most deprived communities will have the same chance of getting to university as a child from one of the most well-off parts of our country. We are currently enabling an independent review of student support to make sure the system is fair and effective. We will protect the core teaching grant, research grant and funding available to support widening access in the higher education sector.

This Government will continue to expand the provision of apprenticeships in Scotland, increasing the number of Modern Apprenticeships toward our target of 30,000 starts a year by 2020 - and expanding both Graduate Level Apprenticeships and Foundation Apprenticeships. In addition this portfolio will continue to support expanded entitlement to Education Maintenance Allowances, work with industry to enhance links between Scotland's education and employer communities, provide a range of support for young people facing barriers to employment and, working with our colleges, will contribute to the development of a new Flexible Workforce Development Fund.

Table 6.01: Spending Plans (Level 2)

Level 2 2016-17 Draft Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget
£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
Learning 201.5 211.6 217.0
Children and Families 117.2 109.2 167.2
Advanced Learning and Science 6.7 4.8 6.2
Scottish Funding Council 1,652.1 1,742.5 1,734.8
Higher Education Student Support (HESS) 876.3 854.3 940.0
Skills and Training 232.6 230.9 223.7
Total Level 2 3,086.4 3,153.3 3,288.9
of which:
DEL Resource 2,607.6 2,676.0 2,674.5
DEL Capital 85.5 85.5 157.4
Financial Transactions 14.0 12.5 14.0
AME 379.3 379.3 443.0
Central Government Grants to Local Authorities 4.5 4.5 124.5

Table 6.02: Spending Plans (Level 2 real terms) at 2016-17 prices

Level 2 2016-17 Draft Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget
£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
Learning 201.5 211.6 213.9
Children and Families 117.2 109.2 164.8
Advanced Learning and Science 6.7 4.8 6.1
Scottish Funding Council 1,652.1 1,742.5 1,710.0
HESS 876.3 854.3 926.5
Skills and Training 232.6 230.9 220.5
Total Level 2 3,086.4 3,153.3 3,241.8
of which:
DEL Resource 2,607.6 2,676.0 2,636.2
DEL Capital 85.5 85.5 155.1
Financial Transactions 14.0 12.5 13.8
AME 379.3 379.3 436.7
Central Government Grants to Local Authorities 4.5 4.5 122.7

Learning

Table 6.03: More Detailed Categories of Spending (Level 3)

Level 3 2016-17 Draft Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget

£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
People and Infrastructure 67.5 53.3 76.8
Strategy and Performance 48.1 69.6 65.7
Learning and Support 36.7 32.9 27.1
Gaelic 23.2 24.3 23.2
Education Scotland 23.3 28.7 21.5
Education Analytical Services 2.7 2.8 2.7
Total 201.5 211.6 217.0
of which:
DEL Resource 170.8 182.4 190.6
DEL Capital 26.7 26.7 22.4
Financial Transactions 4.0 2.5 4.0
AME - - -

What the budget does

The majority of expenditure on school education in Scotland is funded by local authorities from budgets outlined in the Communities, Social Security and Equalities chapter. The Learning budget will support excellence and equity in Scottish education through targeted national programmes and related support. This budget includes implementation of the priorities set out in the Delivery Plan for Scottish Education - closing the attainment gap; a curriculum which delivers; and empowering teachers, schools and communities. The budget will also continue to support the Attainment Scotland Fund which is providing targeted investment of £750 million over the lifetime of this Parliament, to schools and local authorities as part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge programme. The Draft Budget will also facilitate the delivery of programmes, such as Read, Write, Count, to drive up levels of literacy and numeracy across our schools, and support delivery of National Qualifications.

In 2017-18 we will:

  • allocate additional funding, within the overall spend of £750 million in this Parliament, to support the delivery of the Scottish Attainment Challenge through the Attainment Scotland Fund which will focus on targeted improvements in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing;
  • fund the introduction of national standardised assessment at primaries 1, 4 and 7 and in the third year of secondary school;
  • fund the continuing implementation of the National Improvement Framework and the provision of data and evidence to support improvement, including the measurement and closing of the attainment gap;
  • provide £19 million capital funding to invest in the Schools for the Future programme to contribute to the delivery of new or improved schools across Scotland;
  • ensure that we develop the right number of new teachers whilst maintaining teacher numbers and investing to strengthen the skills of the existing workforce, investing in new routes to teaching and high quality professional learning;
  • provide support for continued curricular development including literacy, numeracy, STEM and languages;
  • act on the findings of the Governance Review of Scottish Education by continuing to support the delivery of Scotland's approach to learning and teaching;
  • provide funding for bodies and projects which maintain momentum in the use of Gaelic and increase the numbers speaking, learning and using Gaelic; and
  • support our manifesto commitments to grow Gaelic education by aiding the delivery of wide-ranging Gaelic establishments through the Gaelic capital fund and implementation of legal duties.

Children and Families

Table 6.04: More Detailed Categories of Spending (Level 3)

Level 3 2016-17 Draft Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget
£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
Care and Justice 32.6 32.7 37.4
Care and Protection* 23.3 18.2 12.5
Disclosure Scotland 0.8 1.8 5.3
Creating Positive Futures 43.7 36.6 92.8
Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser 16.8 19.9 19.2
Total** 117.2 109.2 167.2
of which:
DEL Resource 113.1 105.1 127.1
DEL Capital 4.1 4.1 40.1
AME - - -

*In 2017-18 £10.1 million Kinship Allowances allocation permanently moved from Care and Protection budget into Local Government budget.

**2016-17 ABR budget figures reflect internal restructuring within Children and Families and budget transfer to local government for CYP (Scotland) Act 2014 implementation.

What the budget does

The Children and Families budget supports a broad range of activity to improve outcomes for children, young people and families. Our approach, underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is founded on the vision and practice of Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) to enable children and families to realise their potential and interrupt generational disadvantage. It empowers those working with children and families to operate across professional boundaries to provide support and to identify and address need at the earliest opportunity to prevent problems escalating.

We will continue to focus on supporting early intervention and prevention through strengthened universal entitlements to health and education, underpinned by partnership working around the child. We will drive improvement through the multi-agency work of the Children and Young People's Improvement Collaborative and build capacity including by supporting the third sector through the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund.

We are also investing in building capacity in targeted services to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable, with a focus on building relationships to achieve lasting change.

In 2017-18 we will:

  • deliver a Baby Box offering essential items for a child's first weeks to the families of all newborn babies in Scotland, to promote the fair and equal start we want for every child regardless of circumstance;
  • bring together health, social care and education to produce a Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Strategy;
  • continue to invest in a high quality early learning and childcare sector, including starting to build the capacity required to double provision of fully funded ELC to 1,140 hours by 2020;
  • implement the Getting it Right for Looked After Children Strategy and commence a 'root and branch' review of the care system to consider broader systemic change, focusing on the transformative power of long-term, nurturing relationships;
  • implement our refreshed youth justice strategy: 'Preventing Offending - Getting it Right for Children and Young People';
  • provide strengthened protection and care for children at risk through more effective evidence-based interventions, earlier permanence, better support for carers and embedding our collective approach to corporate parenting;
  • as part of the Child Protection Improvement Programme, improve practice within universal services to tackle neglect; and review the Child Protection Systems;
  • continue investment in the third sector to support the delivery of vital services to those children and families who need them most;
  • support delivery of the children's hearings system via Children's Hearings Scotland and Scottish Children's Reporter Administration;
  • maintain our commitment to upskilling and raising the quality of the social service workforce including through our support for full delivery of the functions of the social services workforce regulator - the Scottish Social Services Council;
  • drive and support implementation of the Social Services Shared Vision and Strategy;
  • support the implementation of key provision in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014; and
  • continue to meet the full costs of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry as required by the Inquiries Act 2005 and ensure that it operates independently of government.

Advanced Learning and Science

Table 6.05: More Detailed Categories of Spending (Level 3)

Level 3 2016-17 Draft
Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget
£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
Qualifications and Accreditation 2.2 0.6 1.7
Higher Education 1.5 1.2 1.5
Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser 3.0 3.0 3.0
Total 6.7 4.8 6.2
of which:
DEL Resource 6.7 4.8 6.2
DEL Capital - - -
AME - - -

What the budget does

The Advanced Learning and Science budget principally supports policy and development relating to qualification accreditation; science promotion and international mobility opportunities to enhance employability for students. It also provides funding for the promotion of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

This budget includes work to promote Scotland as a science and innovation nation and enables the Scottish Government to make best use of science advice and knowledge. This includes support for science engagement and promotion across Scotland, through our science centres and science festivals.

In 2017-18 we will:

  • build on the work of the Chief Scientific Adviser and the Scottish Science Advisory Council to ensure we make best use of science advice, knowledge and techniques.

Scottish Funding Council

Table 6.06: More Detailed Categories of Spending (Level 3)

Level 3 2016-17 Draft
Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget
£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
College Operational Expenditure 715.1 721.4 741.3
College Operational Income (184.8) (184.8) (190.0)
Net College Resource 530.3 536.6 551.3
College NPD expenditure 24.4 24.4 29.1
College Depreciation Costs - 30.0 30.1
Higher Education (HE) Resource* 1,027.2 1,081.3 1,013.9
College Capital Expenditure 50.0 50.0 70.4
College Capital Receipts (23.0) (23.0) (23.0)
Net College Capital 27.0 27.0 47.4
Higher Education Capital 25.7 25.7 45.5
Higher Education Financial Transactions 10.0 10.0 10.0
Scottish Funding Council Administration 7.5 7.5 7.5
Total 1,652.1 1,742.5 1,734.8
of which:
DEL Resource 1,589.4 1,679.8 1,631.9
DEL Capital 52.7 52.7 92.9
Financial Transactions 10.0 10.0 10.0
AME - - -

*The HE resource budget was adjusted at the Autumn Budget Revision to take into account a number of funding transfers from across government. These include an annual increase to HE funding to deliver nursing places which was £54 million in 2016-17.

What the budget does

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) budget invests in Scotland's further and higher education sector. Scottish Government funding combines with other sources of complementary investment secured by colleges and universities to deliver teaching, research and innovation activities that can accelerate Scotland's productivity and economic growth. The budget will also support the implementation of Developing the Young Workforce.

In 2017-18 we will:

  • increase our investment in our college sector to ensure that it continues to add real value to our economy and offer opportunities to adults of all ages;
  • increase overall investment in our university sector to support our universities to continue to make a significant contribution to Scottish society, culture and economy;
  • maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent college places;
  • provide capital funding to both the college and university sectors to support research and infrastructure investment;
  • ensure that no eligible Scottish or EU domiciled undergraduate student has to pay for access to higher education;
  • drive progress on implementation of the recommendations made by the Commission on Widening Access;
  • introduce an expanded taught postgraduate support package comprising a tuition fee and a living cost loan;
  • continue to support our Innovation Centres to assist in the commercialisation of world-class research;
  • work in partnership with our colleges and universities to improve Scotland's skills base; to enhance knowledge exchange; and to maximise the impact of research and innovation in line with the recommendations of the Enterprise and Skills Review; and
  • continue to work with the college and university sectors, with students and trade unions to ensure our colleges and universities reflect the highest possible principles of good governance.

Higher Education Student Support

Table 6.07: More Detailed Categories of Spending (Level 3)

Level 3 2016-17 Draft
Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget
£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
Student Support and Tuition Fee Payments 301.6 328.0 301.6
Student Loan Company Administration Costs 4.5 4.4 4.2
Student Loan Interest Subsidy to Bank 3.0 3.0 2.0
Cost of Providing Student Loans (RAB charge) 175.6 125.6 175.6
SAAS Operating Costs Resource 10.3 12.0 11.6
SAAS Operating Costs Capital 2.0 2.0 2.0
SAAS DEL Total 497.0 475.0 497.0
AME
Net Student Loans Advanced 491.3 491.3 560.0
Capitalised Interest (55.0) (55.0) (60.0)
Student Loans Fair Value Adjustment (60.5) (60.5) (57.5)
Student Loan Sale Subsidy Impairment Adjustments 3.5 3.5 0.5
HESS AME Total 379.3 379.3 443.0
Total 876.3 854.3 940.0
of which:
DEL Resource 495.0 473.0 495.0
DEL Capital 2.0 2.0 2.0
AME 379.3 379.3 443.0

What the budget does

The Higher Education Student Support (HESS) budget provides financial support to Scottish domiciled and EU students undertaking higher education courses in Scotland, and Scottish domiciled students studying in the rest of the UK. This includes the provision of free tuition in higher education. The HESS budget is administered by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

The Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) figures are forecasts of the amount of funding anticipated for student loans.

Student loans are provided at a cost to the Scottish Government which is calculated using gross value of loans advanced in the year. The Student Loans Company administers the borrower's loan accounts on behalf of the Scottish Government.

SAAS administers bursary schemes covering support for higher education students (at college and university).

The student loans Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) charge is non-cash ringfenced resource to cover the cost of providing student loans and cannot be used for any other purpose.

In 2017-18 we will:

  • continue to deliver a minimum income guarantee of £7,625 in maintenance support for students from households with an annual income of £19,000, made up of a mixture of bursary and loans;
  • introduce a new enhanced support package for taught postgraduate students. Eligible students will be able to access a total student loan package of £10,000, to assist them to take up on any taught postgraduate course at a Scottish higher education institutions up to full Masters level; and
  • enable a thorough independent review of the student support system for students in further and higher education in Scotland.

Central Government Grants to Local Authorities

Table 6.08: More Detailed Categories of Spending (Level 3)

Level 3 2016-17 Draft
Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget
£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
Local Government Gaelic Grant 4.5 4.5 4.5
Local Government Attainment Grant - - 120.0
Total 4.5 4.5 124.5
of which:
DEL Resource 4.5 4.5 124.5
DEL Capital - - -
AME - - -

What the budget does

This budget supports local authorities with any additional costs associated with the delivery of Gaelic education and Gaelic-medium education in Scotland. There are currently twenty-two authorities in receipt of grant from this fund for a wide range of Gaelic education programme and projects.

This budget also provides additional resource to be made available through the Attainment Scotland Fund.

In 2017-18 we will:

  • support local authorities with implementing the Gaelic provisions in the Education (Scotland) Act 2016; and
  • increase the additional resource to be made available through the Attainment Scotland Fund from £100 million to £120 million which will be paid as a ring-fenced grant as part of the local government settlement. This is on top of the existing £50 million Attainment Scotland funding that will continue to provide targeted support for those authorities and schools supporting children and young people in greatest need.

Skills and Training

Table 6.09: More Detailed Categories of Spending (Level 3)

Level 3 2016-17 Draft
Budget
£m
2016-17 Budget
£m
2017-18 Draft Budget
£m
Skills Development Scotland (SDS)* 176.1 186.4 179.6
Employment and Training Interventions** 56.5 44.5 44.1
Total 232.6 230.9 223.7
of which:
DEL Resource 232.6 230.9 223.7
DEL Capital - - -
AME - - -

* The Budget reflects a number of regular in-year transfers made to SDS, including funding to support the Employability Fund and Scotland's Employer Recruitment Incentive.

** Previously Youth Employment Support Initiatives. Includes funding for Education Maintenance Allowance and the budget for 2017-18 is in line with the recent spending trends. EMA is an entitlement in Scotland which means that any applicant who meets the eligibility criteria will receive financial support.

What the budget does

This budget supports Skills Development Scotland to deliver interventions including Modern Apprenticeships, pre-employment training, careers services, and play a central role in the implementation of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW). The budget also funds Education Maintenance Allowances which support young people to remain in education and other programmes which are aligned with the DYW Strategy, to support young people into employment, education or training. Key elements of this budget underpin the Scottish Government's response to the introduction of the UK Apprenticeship Levy.

In 2017-18 we will:

  • support the continued expansion of Modern Apprenticeships as a step towards providing 30,000 starts by 2020;
  • support the ongoing implementation of Modern Apprenticeship Equality Action Plan to increase participation by under-represented groups;
  • maintain delivery of the Education Maintenance Allowance as an entitlement in Scotland to ensure young people from financially disadvantaged households receive support to overcome financial barriers to stay in school, college and Activity Agreements;
  • continue to invest in the Inspiring Scotland 14-19 Fund which supports young people to make the transition into education, training or employment;
  • continue to tackle structural issues and help challenge inequalities and under-representation in the labour market, by supporting people who face barriers to education, training or employment, in partnership with employers, local authorities and the third sector; and
  • contribute to a new Flexible Workforce Development Fund to help meet the skills needs of the existing workforce.