Pupil Equity Fund: national operational guidance 2022

Guidance to help schools plan how they will most effectively spend their Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) allocation.


There is a package of national and local support available to assist schools in planning how to use their Pupil Equity Funding.

The Education Scotland report 'Pupil Equity Funding: Looking inwards, outwards, forwards – sharing effective practice to maximise support for learners and practitioners' provides a valuable resource highlighting effective practice in planning and implementing PEF approaches.

Scottish Attainment Challenge – Self-evaluation resource designed to assist schools and others bring about further improvement at this time of recovery.

An Intervention for Equity framework of evidenced and proven educational interventions and strategies to help tackle the poverty related attainment gap. The framework can be used by all stakeholders and should help to inform the decisions schools make. The structure and content is designed to be dynamic and continues to evolve as an integral part of the National Improvement Hub, where a wide range of improvement, self-evaluation and research materials are available and where PEF practice exemplars can be shared. Other research summaries and intervention examples will continue to be incorporated as these become available.

An Education Scotland Equity Toolkit is currently being developed and is expected to be available from the summer of 2022.

ILA Framework to evaluate how well local authorities are improving learning, raising attainment and closing the poverty related attainment gap

A reflective tool for educators, Getting It Right For All Learners during COVID-19

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Toolkit provides an accessible summary of educational research designed to inform discussions on the most effective approaches to improving attainment, with a focus on 5-16 year olds and poverty disadvantage. It contains teaching approaches and interventions, each summarised in terms of their average impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them and their cost. It is useful for education leaders and practitioners to inform decision making on the use of Pupil Equity Funding, raising attainment and improving equity. Many of the strands now include challenge questions to help support professional discussions. The toolkit is intended to be used in conjunction with the range of interventions and approaches provided through the framework above to encourage and enhance professional dialogue taking full account of the local context.

Guidance on working with the third sector is available to help support schools make the best use of funding with other partners. This resource sets out how schools can create purposeful partnerships with appropriate third sector organisations to improve outcomes for children, young people and families. The third sector is particularly well placed to support improvements to health and wellbeing and to improve employability skills and school leaver destinations.

Alongside schools, youth work improves the wellbeing, readiness to learn and educational outcomes of children and young people. YouthLink Scotland has a range of collaboration support and resources available as part of their national Scottish Attainment Challenge programme. This includes information for schools, evidence and examples of impact and learning from the Youth Work Education Recovery Fund. They can also provide support to identify and work with youth work partners.

Attainment Advisors will provide advice on a local and regional basis. Attainment Advisors can be integral to facilitating good communication between headteachers, helping to share best practice and provide guidance on effective planning, implementation and evaluation of interventions in schools, local authorities and Regional Improvement Collaboratives.

Examples of this include Attainment Advisors:

  • working with headteachers, senior leaders and practitioners to support joint planning and development of collaborative approaches to the use of Pupil Equity Funding
  • providing advice and support to Headteachers on planning and reporting on initiatives and the use of impact evaluation data and evidence to identify successful approaches and areas for improvement
  • supporting review of local authority SAC self-evaluation frameworks and approaches and providing advice on how this could be expanded to include work related to Pupil Equity Funding and wider Attainment Scotland Funding, including Strategic Equity Funding and Care Experienced Children and Young People Funding.
  • highlighting opportunities for collaboration and use of communication tools on Glow including the Scottish Attainment Challenge community, Teams, Yammer, Sharepoint, and Blogs.

These tools all ensure educators can have online discussions, ask questions, post responses, exchange ideas, access additional resource materials and share examples of practice across the Scottish Attainment Challenge, with the ability to host regular discussions and securely connect and network practitioners where required.

Guidance on School Improvement Planning including Standards and Quality reporting from Education Scotland. Local authorities will also offer their own packages of support for schools to help them plan how to use the funding effectively.


Email: scottishattainmentchallenge@gov.scot

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