E.1. This report summarises findings from the Local Authority mini survey, which took place during April-May 2018.
E.2. The survey invited views on the overall Attainment Scotland Fund. Specifically, all local authorities were asked around governance, sustainability, Pupil Equity Fund planning and support, and unintended consequences.
E.3. Overall 22 (out of 32) local authorities replied, including 9 challenge authorities and 13 non-challenge authorities. One response was asked for each authority but respondents could discuss the questions with colleagues before answering.
E.4. The Attainment Scotland Fund continues to be a driver of change and cohesion. Authorities reported a greater focus on deprivation as a result of the funding.
E.5. Amongst most authorities, closing the poverty related attainment gap appears now to be embedded not just in those activities supported through the fund, but also through core education budgets and wider partnership agreements.
E.6. There is a general belief that this change in culture / ethos with a stronger focus on poverty and equity will maximise sustainability of improvements already achieved.
E.7. Generally, the planning and implementation of Pupil Equity Fund was positively reported by authorities. In particular, the one-to-one support provided to headteachers, the tailored guidance developed by some authorities and a focus on data and collaboration.
E.8. Overall, authorities praised the role of Attainment Advisors highly, stating that they were an "excellent source of support" providing "high quality and adequate challenge".
Areas to consider
E.9. There were some concerns about a strong reliance on the funding to support staffing costs, and a belief that authorities would not be able to sustain this level of investment without the additional funding.
E.10. Concerns with staff recruitment, tight timescales and general issues with procurement continue to be ongoing challenges for most authorities.
E.11. Some authorities felt that the fund had created a sense of division between challenge and non-challenge authorities.
E.12. In some authorities, recruitment of Attainment Advisors was reported as challenging.
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