Fair funding for schools

Consultation on devolving finances.

Greater direct control of funding by schools will help improve education, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said as he called for parents, teachers and young people to have their say in revamping the way schools are funded.

Speaking the day after he announced sweeping new powers for schools, Mr Swinney said it was crucial that funding decisions are taken by those who know children best and know where the funding will have the biggest impact.

A formal consultation has been launched on proposals for a fair funding system that will empower schools to better target resources, to raise attainment and close the poverty-related gap.

The DFM said:

“We want far more decisions on school funding to be in the hands of those with the expertise and insight to target resources at the greatest need – the schools themselves.  They know our children best and know what will best improve Scottish education. That is why we think much greater financial control should rest with teachers, parents and schools.

“This is a key part of this Government’s reforms - but we want to know what parents, teachers and young people themselves think is the best way to achieve this.

“We are already giving £120 million Pupil Equity Funding directly to head teachers to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap in their schools. But the way local authorities currently allocate their £5 billion annual education spend is complex, lacks transparency and varies from council to council.

“We do not intend to develop a fixed, national formula but greater clarity and consistency is required to make sure funding goes where it is most needed.

“In our consultation, we have set out two options for a fair funding system that will devolve more control over finances to schools. These are bold and ambitious reforms and I would urge everyone with an interest to have their say before the closing date of 13 October 2017.”


The Fair funding to achieve excellence and equity in education consultation proposes two possible approaches for a fair and more transparent funding model:

  • Enshrining a national approach to the devolution of funding within the new Headteachers’ Charter; and/ or
  • Through increased targeting of elements of funding, building on the Pupil Equity Funding approach


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