SCHOOLCHILDREN IN DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY BEING “ROBBED” BY EDUCATION MINISTER, ACCORDING TO SOUTH SCOTLAND MSP

Schoolchildren in Dumfries and Galloway are being robbed by the Education Minister, according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth after it was revealed that the region had once again missed out on funding from the Scottish Government’s Attainment Fund.

Education Minister John Swinney has announced £20 million of funding from the Fund to seven local councils- without a single extra penny being given to schools in Dumfries and Galloway.  Two other councils , again excluding Dumfries and Galloway, will receive funding to be announced in August.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth believes that given the recent cut in the council’s budget- with Education being the largest recipient of the budget- funding is being taking from Dumfries and Galloway to support other regions through the fund.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “Once again Dumfries and Galloway is the forgotten region in the eyes of the SNP Government. The Deputy First Minister recently cut the local council’s budget by £21m which inevitably impacts on funding for local schools in our region. Yet a few weeks later as Education Minister he has announced £20m from the attainment fund for other parts of Scotland without a single penny being given to Dumfries and Galloway. Schoolchildren in Dumfries and Galloway are being robbed by the Education Minister as they see funding in their local schools reduce. It really is time that schoolchildren in our region received our fair share from the Scottish Government".  

The South Scotland MSP has now tabled a series of Parliamentary questions on the failure of the Scottish Government to allocate funding to Dumfries and Galloway.

 
The Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council's Education Committee wrote to the previous Education Secretary Angela Constance urging the Government to review the criteria for allocating funds form the Attainment Fund. Councillor Leaver expressed his disappointment at the latest Government snub to the region.
 
Councillor Leaver said, "It is deeply disappointing that schoolchildren in Dumfries and Galloway are being missed out by the Scottish Government when it comes to the allocation of resources yet again. All the evidence shows that there is an attainment gap in Dumfries and Galloway between the most deprived areas and those in more affluent areas, but clearly the Scottish Government aren't interested in closing that gap in rural areas like ours. All Groups on the council supported my call to ask the Scottish Government to rethink their policy of snubbing Dumfries and Galloway and we will continue that fight until we get our fair share."