Pupil Equity Fund: national operational guidance 2022

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


"Only children in receipt of FSM can benefit from Pupil Equity Funding"

False. Although funding is based on free school meal registration of pupils in P1-S3, this should not necessarily exclude any children and young people outside of this range. Headteachers have flexibility when deciding which children and young people can benefit from the funding.

"Pupil Equity Funding must only be spent on interventions"

False. Interventions and approaches should be considered within the context of the school improvement planning cycle and must be targeted towards closing the poverty-related attainment gap. These approaches can include interventions, staffing and ICT, which help close an identified gap within a whole school improvement priority using additional funding or resource.

"Evidence for interventions and approaches using Pupil Equity Funding can be supported using only school data"

False. The use of school and learning community data is strongly encouraged. 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.

"Pupil Equity Funding cannot be used to support education recovery"

False. The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills set out to Parliament on 23 November 2021 plans for the Scottish Attainment Challenge for 2022/23 to 2025/26, which includes Pupil Equity Funding. This clearly stated the aim to support recovery from the pandemic and accelerate progress in closing the gap.


Email: scottishattainmentchallenge@gov.scot

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