Conference focuses on Scotland-wide support for children and young people most impacted by poverty

The Scottish Attainment Challenge Conference (SAC) focused on supporting education practitioners, schools and local authorities in planning tailored support for children and young people most impacted by poverty.

Education practitioners, school leaders and education teams from local authorities attended the conference to learn more about the SAC refresh and how they can use the new Strategic Equity Fund (SEF) which has been introduced to all local authority areas in Scotland to support delivery of improved educational outcomes and tackling the poverty related attainment gap.

The Conference on 30 March set out the new framework for the Challenge for academic year 2022/23 and aimed to support local authorities and schools in planning approaches to using the SEF alongside Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) which is now set for the next four years to assist with longer term planning.

Patricia Watson, Strategic Director of Regional at Education Scotland said: "The conference is a great opportunity for education practitioners and local authority colleagues to come together with our Attainment Advisors to learn more about how the funding can be used to close the poverty-related attainment gap.

"There is still much to achieve and with the impact of COVID-19, there’s been an increase in poverty which needs addressing so the introduction of this new Framework and the strategic involvement of all local authority areas in the Scottish Attainment Challenge is timely.

"Over recent years there has been lots of great examples of schools using their PEF to deliver innovative approaches to support young people in achieving their aspirations. It is important that we share this learning with those who are looking at using this funding for the first time to support their plans for ensuring children and young people in their area reach their full potential."

As well as the Framework for Recovery and Accelerating Progress, the Scottish Government has also published updated guidance on the PEF; the Strategic Equity Funding; Care Experienced Children and Young People Fund and the SAC Logic Model to support the work of the refreshed Scottish Attainment Challenge.

Education Scotland has also published the report ‘Pupil Equity Funding: Looking Inwards, Outwards, Forwards – sharing effective practice to maximise support for learners and practitioners’ which includes examples of approaches being employed across the country using PEF.