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Published 08 December 2017

West Dunbartonshire Council is to outline its approaches to closing the poverty-related attainment gap to inspectors.

The Council is one of a number of local authorities to have received funding from the Scottish Government to raise attainment and is the first in the country to have the opportunity to demonstrate the impact of its innovative projects through an inspection by Education Scotland.

Over the last five years, the Council has received £6.8million from the Scottish Government Attainment Challenge and £17m from the Pupil Equity Fund (PEF) to support young people from deprived backgrounds.

The inspection, which is due to start on 11 December, will assess how the Council is using the funding to improve learning, raise attainment and narrow the poverty-related attainment gap. During the inspections, officers will be asked for information on initiatives and for evidence of the Council’s effectiveness in raising attainment.

Senior Education Officers along with Head Teachers and partners have been gathering data for the inspection and questionnaires have been issued to interested parties including Elected Members, while focus groups will provide further evidence on the Council’s progress. 

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “No child’s future should be limited due to poverty and as a Council we are working hard to raise attainment and ensure all of our young people can attain and achieve. We are pleased to be working with Education Scotland inspectors and to demonstrate the difference the additional funding has made, and the progress we’ve made in supporting pupils. 

Depute Convener of Educational Services, Councillor Caroline McAllister, said: “As a Council, we are committed to closing the attainment gap and ensuring all our pupils achieve their potential, regardless of their background. Officers have worked hard to ensure our funding is helping to make a difference to the lives of the pupils who need it the most.”