Borders schools richer by £1.8m in Holyrood handout

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Schools in the Borders have been awarded £1.8million by the Scottish Government as part of its drive to narrow the attainment gap.

It is part of £120million distributed nationwide from the pupil equity fund, which is hoped to support children in the poorest communities in the country.

The levels of funding vary widely across the region.

The secondary school receiving the largest award is Hawick High School, with £86,400, and the lowest amount of £27,600 goes to Jedburgh Grammar School.

Hawick is also the recipient of the biggest primary school award of £130,800 which goes to Burnfoot Community School – which was visited by first minister Nicola Sturgeon last year – with Langlee Primary School in Galashiels taking the second-highest, with a grant of £105,600, followed by Eyemouth Primary (90,000) and Edenside Primary in Kelso (72,000).

The funds have been distributed in accordance with the number of children in each school receiving free school meals.

How the money will be spent in each school will be decided by the head teachers and school leaders.

MSP Christine Grahame welcomed the annoucement, saying: “Every child in Scotland should have the best possible start in life, and it is unacceptable for children from the poorest backgrounds to have their chances limited by circumstances outside of their control.

“This funding is an important step in tackling the inter-generational cycle of deprivation in our schools.”

Her colleague, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, added: “The Scottish Government has made closing the educational attainment gap our number one priority for this Parliamentary session, given its importance for pupils’ life prospects as well as providing skills for the economy.

“Our new £120m pupil equity fund is aimed at doing just that, supporting schools across the Borders.

“This new announcement will let local parents, teachers and school leaders in the Borders see how much additional funding they can expect to receive to drive up standards and support local pupils achieve their full potential.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “We welcome the announcement that pupils from across the Scottish Borders are due to benefit from £1,840,800 of Scottish Government funding which will be used by our headteachers as part of their ongoing commitment to raising attainment for pupils.”