- 21 Aug 2019
Date received: 25 Jul 2019
Date responded: 20 Aug 2019
A contract was issued by yourself (Donna Bell) to Inverclyde Council on 31 March 2017 for a grant up to £2,450,400 sterling for the Pupil Equity Fund. The contract was accepted under jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts. Within this Offer of Grant - Section 2.2 it states "The Grant shall only be used for the purposes of the Programme and for no other purpose whatsoever.”
1) With this declared condition - can you please confirm if this was amended in any way during the time period 31 March 2017 to 30 July 2017? i.e., did Inverclyde Council request to amend this statement?
2) As at 30 July 2017 were the same conditions still imposed on Inverclyde Council that the grant should only be used for the purposes of the Programme and for no other purpose whatsoever?
3) With reference to this statement, would the Scottish Government allow Head Teachers to fund any staff member/(s) to undertake "core" duties within Inverclyde Council (ie. not related to PEF)?An answer YES/NO would kindly suffice.
The answers to your questions are as follows:-
1 and 2) This condition was not amended. These grant conditions seek to formalise the National Operational Guidance on the use of Pupil Equity Funding which is issued by the Scottish Government to schools and Local Authorities. The 2019 Pupil Equity Funding National Operational Guidance is available on the Government’s website here:- https://www.gov.scot/publications/pupil-equity-funding-national-operational-guidance-2019/
The same conditions applied on 30 July 2017. The guidance, and grant terms and conditions, are intended to provide a degree of flexibility for both schools and authorities to prevent unnecessary bureaucracy and to help ensure the effective and efficient management of this additional resource. Whilst the Scottish Government fully intends that Pupil Equity Funding should be spent at the discretion of individual headteachers as far as is possible; the grant conditions also recognise the statutory responsibilities of the local authority to deliver educational improvement, secure Best Value, and their role as employer. The Government therefore does not prescribe how local authority processes should operate as that is a matter for each authority, in accordance with their own operational procedures. As part of the standard grant monitoring process, the Scottish Government seeks assurances from each authority that they have adhered to the terms and conditions of the grant and, as has been previously communicated to you, we are satisfied that the Council complied with the terms and conditions of their 2017/18 PEF grant.
3) As set out in the Pupil Equity Funding Guidance and grant terms and conditions, in the first instance Headteachers are accountable to their local authority for the use of Pupil Equity Funding within their school. As stated previously, having considered the information you provided and spoken to the Council, we are satisfied the Council has complied with the terms and conditions of their 2017/18 PEF grant.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House