Let's target support at children who need it most

I loved school. Every minute of it. It wasn’t the best school in Scotland but I always felt that everyone was on my side, and would make sure I had every opportunity to fulfil my potential. Whatever it was.

That support made all the difference to me. It gave me the confidence to go for university and then the career I wanted.
I was the first in my family to take that step at a time when universities were opening up to youngsters like me: bright kids from a working class background.
But in the years between my school career and my daughter’s so much has changed. And in the past few years it seems to accelerate.
In the past decade the number of children from economically underprivileged backgrounds going into higher and further education in Scotland has fallen.
It’s getting tougher for kids from backgrounds like mine to break through whatever glass ceilings society puts in their way.
That’s why I feel so strongly that we need the Pupil Premium which Lib Dems have already successfully introduced down south and now Willie Rennie wants to launch in Scotland.
Instead of the current Scottish system where most of the assistance for school goes to areas, areas in the central belt of Scotland this financial support would go to children who can benefit from it, wherever they live.
The SNP system doesn’t work because it identifies schools in areas where there may be economic problems.
But families can face challenges where ever they live. That’s why I want to see us identify children who need our support and make sure the money goes to their school for the extra facilities, staffing or whatever they need.
The Pupil Premium will make sure all our children get the best possible start in life.

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