Headteachers empowered

31 Oct 2019 12:12 PM

78% of all Pupil Equity Funding invested by schools.

More than £132 million of targeted funding was spent last year by headteachers to help close the poverty related attainment gap.

The Scottish Government’s Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) scheme puts money directly into the hands of headteachers, allowing them to decide how best to use it to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.

Headteachers spent 78% of almost £170 million PEF which was available last year. This was made up of £122.2 million allocated for 2018-19 alongside a carry-over of £47.6 million from 2017-18. This puts Scotland on track to meet the pledge of £750 million invested over the life of this Parliament.

The total invested last year is a significant increase on the 60% of PEF used by headteachers in 2017-18. The news has been welcomed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

He yesterday said:

“Every child deserves to grow up knowing there are no limits to what they can achieve. Empowered teachers, given the right resources and appropriate support, are making a massive difference in our classrooms and are transforming lives. 

“Closing the attainment gap will take time but we also know that what we are doing is having a tangible effect.

“The increase in Pupil Equity Funding investment by headteachers shows that our measures to empower teachers are working. Too often we hear the accusation that Scottish education lacks creativity and innovation. PEF proves that argument entirely wrong.”


Cumulatively, over 2017/18 and 2018/19, £204.806m (84%) of the £242.466m allocated PEF has been spent with £37.660m carried forward for next year.

Figures showing 2018/19 Pupil Equity Funding levels of spend, at both Local Authority and School level, are available online. 

The Scottish Government published the ‘Attainment Scotland Fund evaluation: interim report (year 3)’ report on 21 June 2019: