Pupil Equity Fund: national operational guidance 2022

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

Key Principles

  • This guidance should be considered alongside the Scottish Attainment Challenge Framework for Recovery and Accelerating Progress
  • Headteachers will have access to their school's full allocated amount of Pupil Equity Funding and should work in partnership with each other, and their local authority, to agree the use of the funding.
  • Pupil Equity Funding must enable schools to deliver activities, approaches or resources which are clearly additional to universal local improvement plans.
  • Teachers, parents and carers, children and young people and other key stakeholders should be meaningfully involved throughout the processes of planning, implementing and evaluating approaches.
  • Funding must provide targeted support for children and young people (and their families if appropriate) affected by poverty to achieve their full potential, focusing on targeted improvement activity in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.
  • Although the Pupil Equity Funding is allocated on the basis of free school meal registration, headteachers can use their professional judgement to identify children in their school who may benefit from the targeted interventions and approaches, with the aim of closing the poverty-related attainment gap.
  • Schools must take account of the statutory responsibilities of the authority to deliver educational improvement, secure Best Value, and the authority's role as employer. Local Guidance will set out more detail on how this will operate. The contributions of wider services supporting children and young people and their families are vital to supporting pupils' readiness to learn. Collaboration across services is crucial in tackling the poverty related attainment gap.
  • The operation of the Pupil Equity Funding should be included within existing planning procedures e.g. through School Improvement Plans and Standards and Quality reports, or equivalent report if appropriate, each of which should be easily accessible to stakeholders. This must provide clarity to stakeholders on how Pupil Equity Funding is being used and its expected impact.
  • Headteachers must develop a clear rationale for use of the funding, based on a robust contextual analysis of relevant data which identifies the poverty-related attainment gap in their schools and learning communities and plans must be grounded in evidence of what is known to be effective at raising attainment for children affected by poverty.
  • Schools must have plans in place at the outset to evaluate the impact of the funding. These plans should outline clear outcomes to be achieved and how progress towards these, and the impact on closing the poverty-related attainment gap, will be measured. If, as a result of this ongoing monitoring, the plans are not achieving the results intended, these plans should be amended. Plans for sustainability must be considered as part of this.


Email: scottishattainmentchallenge@gov.scot

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