Spending on Scottish schools to rise this year

Spending on Scotland's local authorities for 2016/17 is to be reduced by £119 million (-1.0 per cent) to £11.875 billion when compared with the previous year, the Scottish Government has said.

Education Secretary John Swinney

Scottish Government budget estimate figures revealed spending on education, however, is to go up by £86 million (1.8 per cent) to £4.879 billion.

Social work will see a reduction of £37 million (-1.2 per cent) to £3.139 billion – although the government said the figure did not include the £250 million made available from the health budget as a result of Integration Joint Boards.

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Education amounted to 41.1 per cent of total expenditure and social work accounted for 26.4 per cent.

Local Authorities received £6.837 billion (58.5 per cent of funding) from Scottish Government Grants, received £2.768 billion (23.7 per cent) from non-domestic rates and raised £2.075 billion (17.8 per cent of funding) from council tax. This funding totalled £11.680 billion, with 195 million being funded from local authority reserves.

Education Secretary John Swinney welcomed the extra cash for schools.

He said: “Investment in education is an investment in the future of Scotland’s young people, and so I very much welcome this increase by local authorities - both in terms of last year’s expected spend and allocated budgets for the year ahead.

“However, the way this funding is currently allocated to schools is complex, lacks transparency and varies from council to council. We want far more decisions on school funding to be in the hands of those with the expertise and insight to target resources at the greatest need – the schools themselves.

“We are already giving an additional £120 million Pupil Equity Funding directly to head teachers to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap in their schools. We want to build on this approach with a fair funding system for schools. Our consultation runs until 13 October, and I urge everyone to have their say.”