Pupil Equity Fund: national operational guidance 2022

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


The headteacher will be accountable to their local authority for the use of Pupil Equity Funding within their school. Schools should consult and engage effectively with teachers, parents and carers, children and young people and the wider community when implementing approaches to closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

Headteachers' responsibilities are outlined in the Framework for Recovery and Accelerating Progress (section 2.1). They are responsible for timely planning and reporting documents to be made available to relevant stakeholders including parents and carers and local authorities.


Parents and carers and the local community are a valuable source of support, expertise and experience in working with children and young people experiencing poverty-related barriers to learning. In many contexts, particularly in rural areas, schools may be able to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and young people by working with a range of bodies such as:

  • parent groups
  • parent councils
  • other local authority and public sector services (such as community learning & development)
  • third sector organisations (including youth work, family learning organisations)
  • other educational sectors
  • and/or centres of expertise.

Understanding the needs of children and young people will help to identify appropriate areas for collaboration.

Engaging Children and Young People and their Families

Children and young people should be involved throughout the entire process of local approaches and have the opportunity to have their views heard and influence local decision making.

Support on how to enable children and young people to have that input can be found at Resources on how to enable CYP to input to planning and evaluation.

One particular approach that headteachers can consider is participatory budgeting.

Participatory budgeting (PB) is an innovative and effective mechanism to engage with parents, carers, children and young people, in particular those who face barriers to participation within their learning community. PB directly involves people in budgeting decisions that has a direct impact on improving their lives. It can strengthen pupil voice and provide real experience of democracy in action, resulting in more confident and active young people as citizens. PB offers positive engagement experiences, strengthening the school culture by building positive relationships. PB in schools is a meaningful, practical and tangible way to realise children's rights to participate in decision making, whilst building an awareness of wider community needs.

More information about PB can be found on the PB Scotland website at: https://pbscotland.scot/pb-in-schools/resources.

For any queries contact: info@pbscotland.scot


Email: scottishattainmentchallenge@gov.scot

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