Willie Rennie to announce help for disadvantaged pupils in Scottish schools

Willie and ACH on nursery visitWillie Rennie will give key details of how the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ plan for a Pupil Premium will help children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Scottish schools when he delivers his keynote speech to conference this afternoon.

He’ll also outline how the whole £475 million raised from a 1p rise in the basic rate of Income Tax to pay for investment in education would work.

Willie will commit £170m a year of that investment towards a pupil premium in Scotland. £1,400 will be available for every primary pupil needing extra support and £900 for every secondary pupil.

He is expected to say:

With the investment of one penny on income tax we can secure a £475million return.

You’ll know that our investment – the penny for education – will be spent on expanding nursery education, implementing a pupil premium, stopping cuts to schools and repairing cuts to colleges. Those are our four priorities for children and young people.

Today I can announce the details of that funding so that people know what they will get for their winning investment. We will invest £170million in our schools with a pupil premium. This will be paid directly to schools to raise attainment every year.

It will be worth £1,400 for every pupil who needs extra support at primary school – wherever they live in the country. And £900 for every secondary school pupil from a disadvantaged background.

Our pupil premium will put money into every classroom. Every school gets money for children from poorer backgrounds. That’s enough for more teachers for one-to-one help, for homework clubs or for extra equipment.

That is how you close the attainment gap. By making the investment. By giving the life chances. And by backing your words up with action.

Before the speech, he and Edinburgh Western and Lothian List candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton will be continuing their tour of the Capital’s nurseries.

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