Strategic Equity Fund: national operational guidance 2022

Guidance to support local authorities plan how they will most effectively spend their Strategic Equity funding.

Monitoring & Reporting

Monitoring should be undertaken locally on an ongoing basis, with support and challenge provided across local systems to drive education recovery and tackle the poverty-related attainment gap.

A key element of this should be on-going and regular professional dialogue between local authorities and Education Scotland, through Senior Regional Advisors and Attainment Advisors in particular.

In-year monitoring of progress within local settings is important to ensure early support and intervention where required, and should be a key aspect of local approaches to achieving the mission of the Scottish Attainment Challenge.

Reporting on the impact of plans to use education to improve outcomes for children and young people impacted by poverty, with a focus on reducing the poverty-related attainment gap will be through existing mechanisms within the education system, as outlined in the Framework for Recovery and Accelerating Progress.

Existing local authority Education Standards and Quality reports (or local equivalent reports) should be used by the local authority to report on the progress being made with the support of Attainment Scotland Funding and provide specific details on:

  • the original stretch aims set out in the local authority education service improvement plan and the extent to which they have been achieved;
  • the measures described in the local authority education service improvement plan and any additional data to report on the impact on children and young people affected by poverty. Both qualitative and quantitative evidence of progress should be used to detail whether the expected impact was achieved – with clear quantitative progress against the relevant NIF measures included; and
  • examples of interventions, approaches and use of resources which have been effective.

Within these reports local authorities should ensure that there is a clear narrative on the extent to which the ASF (SEF, PEF and CECYP funding) has influenced and supported local approaches in meeting locally identified stretch aims, and that there is evidence of strategic coherence and alignment in the use of these funding streams.

Local authorities should share reporting on progress with Scottish Government and Education Scotland by the end of December annually. This can be via their annually published improvement reports (for which education authorities have an existing duty to provide Scottish Ministers a copy once published).

Financial Reporting

There will be two draw-down points annually for funding, one at the mid-point of the financial year (September) and one at the end of the financial year (March). Draw down of funds should be based on actual spend aligned to the planning template. Templates for completion of financial reports will be provided to the local authority by Scottish Government in advance of the draw-down dates.

Where local authorities are unable to spend their full allocation during the financial year, any unspent funds can be carried forward to the new financial year for investment by the end of the academic year (end of June) in support of existing plans for that year. Funding to be carried forward should be identified and set out alongside the end of financial year grant claim submitted in March.



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