Laurie Bidwell

Labour spokesperson on Education in Dundee


1 October 2015

Lost 1 million from Attainment Challenge funds for Disadvantaged Dundee Pupils

Labour's Education Spokesperson in Dundee, Councillor Laurie Bidwell said:

"At the Education Committee on Monday evening I will be welcoming the beginning of the Attainment Challenge in Dundee.

"This is focused on eleven of our Primary Schools, two Early Years Centres, two stand alone Nursery Schools and 6 Nursery classes and it is right that we should be focusing on early intervention.

"As many of the additional staff are now appointed, it is good to know that we are moving from the plan towards action to help close the attainment gap in Dundee.

"As the Council is still to appoint all the new staff to the target nursery and primary schools, I have been informed that as much as half of the 2.145065 funding available in year one of the four year Challenge programme may be unspent in the 2015/16 financial year.

"More disappointing is that the unspent 1+ million will not be available to be carried forward but will be retained by the Scottish Government.

"Unfortunately, this is another example of the Scottish Government giving with one hand whilst taking with the other.

"On Monday night I hope the Education Committee will want to support my motion to ask the Scottish Government to think again about clawing back 1+ million from the Council's initiatives to help close the attainment gap for children in our city.

"It's important that the Education Committee speaks up at this time on behalf of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in our city."