Investing in education

Second consecutive increase in local authority spend.

New figures showing an increase in education spend by local authorities have been welcomed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The latest Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics show local authority expenditure on education increased from £4.946 billion in 2015-16 to £5.070 billion in 2016-17.

This is the second year in a row local authority education expenditure has seen a real terms increase with spending now 2.3 per cent higher than in 2014-15 in real terms – a cash terms increase of 5.3 per cent.

Commenting, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Closing the attainment gap is this government’s number one priority. Every child should have the best possible start in life, no matter their background. Schools have a significant role to play in ensuring every child is given the right support to help them achieve their full potential and so I very much welcome this increase by local authorities.

“What’s more, with the Budget that the Scottish Parliament passed last week delivering a real-terms increase in next year’s council funding, we want to see this trend continue.

“However, the way this funding is currently allocated to schools is complex, lacks transparency and varies from council to council. 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.

“To help achieve this, we committed £120 million to our Pupil Equity Fund this year. This additional money is available to head teachers to address some of the specific issues that might be affecting poverty related attainment in their schools.”


The Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics 2016-17 show:

  • Education expenditure increased from £4.946 billion in 2015-16 to £5,070 billion in 2016-17, a 2.5% increase in cash terms.
  • This was a real terms increase in education expenditure of 0.3% between 2015-16 and 2016-17.
  • This is the second, consecutive, real terms increase with education expenditure in 2016-17 now 2.3% higher than in 2014-15 in real terms.


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