Scottish Government to Provide Pupil Equity Fund to Schools

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. equity / ˈɛk wɪ ti / (n) – the state of being just or fair

    Having educational equity means all students have the same opportunities and chances to learn.

  2. attainment / əˈteɪn mənt / (n) – the state of gaining or accomplishing something

    Please include information about your educational attainment in your application form.

  3. on top of / ɒn tɒp ɔf / (idiom) – in addition to

    The students are getting stressed since they have club activities on top of their homework.

  4. eligible / ˈɛl ɪ dʒə bəl / (adj) – to be entitled or qualified for something

    Children from low-income families are eligible for free school meals.

  5. beneficiary / ˌbɛn əˈfɪʃ iˌɛr i / (n) – someone who will benefit from something

    The children from the orphanage are the beneficiaries of the project.


Read the text below.

The Scottish government will distribute a £120 million budget (around $150 million) among schools to reach educational equity in the country.

According to a study about the educational gap in Scotland, students from well-off families perform better at school than students who are from low-income homes. The gap in the attainment of literacy and numerical ability between the two groups starts in early childhood.

To close this gap, the Scottish government previously established the Attainment Challenge Fund. The program, which allots £50 million (around $62 million) to schools annually, aims to give every student an equal opportunity to achieve their maximum potential regardless of family income.

In line with this goal, the government announced that they will be releasing a Pupil Equity Fund on top of the already existing attainment fund. The Pupil Equity Fund will be distributed among schools with the greatest needs.

The target beneficiaries of the fund are children who have been eligible for prior school assistance programs, such as free school meals. Schools will receive £1,200 (around $1,490) for every student that will qualify for the program.

Teachers and school heads can decide on how they will utilize the fund to reduce the attainment gap. One head teacher from a beneficiary school stated that the fund will be a huge help in expanding already existing programs for the pupils and their families, which include weekly family meals, homework group, and a summer club while school is on break. These activities aim to promote the well-being of the children and their families, which can boost the students’ academic performance.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Aside from the weekly family meals, homework groups, and summer clubs, where else should the equity fund be spent on?
• Do you think that giving more funds to schools will truly help close the gap between students’ attainment? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Aside from family income, what do you think are other factors that may affect a student’s education?
• Should the government make education the highest priority in the national budget? Why or why not?