Pupil Equity Funding

More than 2,300 schools to receive over £120 million extra funding next year.

Scotland’s schools are in line to receive a share of over £120 million next year to help close the poverty-related attainment gap, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced.

Pupil Equity Funding is being allocated to 2,387 schools from the Scottish Government’s £750 million Attainment Scotland Fund in 2018/19.

The money will be spent at the discretion of teachers and school leaders on localised initiatives to close the poverty related attainment gap.

Mr Swinney announced the funding on a visit to St Francis RC Primary School in Dundee, who have been using part of their funding in 2017/18 to provide a six-week summer school focused on literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing for their pupils living in the most deprived areas.

Mr Swinney said:

“Every child should have the best possible start in life, no matter their background. Schools have a significant role to play in ensuring every child is given the right support to help them achieve their full potential.

“Our priority is to close the poverty-related attainment gap. This £120 million of Pupil Equity Funding is aimed at doing just that.

“The funding is targeted towards schools who have the highest numbers of pupils receiving free school meals, so that the money is spent on the children who need it most.

“Last year’s allocation is already making a big impact. I have visited a number of schools up and down the country where this funding has empowered teachers to put in place creative new initiatives that are tackling the attainment gap in their schools right now.

“I hope this second round of funding will help schools to build on that progress, supported by our reforms to education that will raise standards for all and put excellence and equity at the heart of Scottish education.”

Neil Lowden, the Headteacher of St Francis RC Primary School, said:

“I believe the introduction of the Pupil Equity Funding has had a significant impact on how I have managed my school in terms of the absolute focus on raising attainment in literacy and numeracy as well as improving outcomes in health and wellbeing for the children in St Francis.

“There is no doubt that having this extra resource has allowed me to further develop the work of the Scottish Attainment Challenge to provide high quality targeted interventions to close the attainment gap.

“As a Headteacher the Pupil Equity Funding has fundamentally allowed our school community to make a real and significant difference to the lives of the children who come through our doors every day. I am delighted to see a further commitment being made by the Scottish Government and I very much welcome Mr Swinney’s announcement.”


The £120 million Pupil Equity Funding forms part of the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget for 2018/19.

The £120 million Pupil Equity Funding forms part of the £179 million Attainment Scotland Fund for 2018-19, underlining the Scottish Government’s commitment to allocate £750 million during the course of this Parliament to tackle the poverty related attainment gap.

Allocations are based on the number of pupils from P1 to S3 who are eligible and registered for free school meals.

The funding broken down by local authority can be found here: