The Scottish Attainment Challenge is about achieving equity in educational outcomes. Equity can be achieved by ensuring every child has the same opportunity to succeed, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap.
The First Minister launched the Scottish Attainment Challenge in February 2015 to bring a greater sense of urgency and priority to this issue. It is underpinned by The National Improvement Framework, Curriculum for Excellence and Getting it Right for Every Child.
The Scottish Attainment Challenge will focus and accelerate targeted improvement activity in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing in specific areas of Scotland. It will also support and complement the broader range of initiatives and programmes to ensure that all of Scotland’s children and young people reach their full potential.
The £750m Attainment Scotland Fund is a targeted initiative focused on supporting pupils in the local authorities of Scotland with the highest concentrations of deprivation. The nine Challenge Authorities are currently Glasgow, Dundee, Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire, North Ayrshire, Clackmannanshire, North Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. The Fund initially focused on primary schools and targets improvements in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. A number of primary schools, out with the Challenge Authorities, with significant proportions of their pupils living in deprived areas are also benefiting. These schools have been identified on the basis of supporting a significant proportion of pupils and families from communities which are facing some of the greatest challenges across Scotland. Many of these schools are already doing well for all of their pupils and we want to learn from and spread this practice. The scope of the Programme is also being extended this year to support up to 133 secondary schools across Scotland.
On 1 February 2017 the share each school will receive for 2017/18 from the Scottish Government’s £120 million Pupil Equity Funding was announced. This funding is provided through the Attainment Scotland Fund and allocated directly to schools, targeted at those children most affected by the poverty related attainment gap.