A Manifesto for Angus South: School & Early Years Investment
In her speech launching the SNP’s election manifesto, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was clear: “I promise the young people of Scotland that I will do everything I possibly can to make sure you do not carry the legacy of this pandemic into your adult lives”. Central to this is a renewed commitment to education and attainment, and the further expansion of policies that have already benefitted children and young people across Angus.
The SNP’s doubling of free high quality childcare for 3 and 4 year olds, and vulnerable 2 year olds, is being delivered here in Angus – with Angus Council receiving £10.1m in revenue funding in 2021-22 to support the expansion. With the SNP now committing to invest over half a billion pounds in the next stage of the childcare revolution, Angus would see free early years education extended to all 1 and 2 year olds from low income households in a new system of ‘wraparound’ childcare.
Disadvantaged older children in Angus schools were helped last summer by Scottish Government funding to tackle digital exclusion – £441,541 capital and £75,982 revenue – which, for one thing, enabled the provision of 1366 Chromebooks and 189 iPads. If re-elected to form the next government, the SNP has pledged a tablet or laptop for every school child and a free internet connection to use it – with this now a necessity, not a luxury.
The SNP Scottish Government has already made progress in closing the poverty-related attainment gap in education, though there is much more to be done. Schools in Angus are benefitting from the £750m Attainment Scotland Fund, with Angus Council receiving £2,184,071 in 2020-21 to be spent at the discretion of teachers and school leaders to this end – up to £2,277,769 for 2021-22.
As at late last year, additional Scottish Government funding has seen 31.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers recruited in Angus – 23.4 FTE more primary teachers and 8.4 FTE extra in secondaries – with a further 3,500 teachers and classroom assistants to be delivered Scotland-wide by a re-elected SNP administration over the course of the next Parliament. But as well as new teachers, Angus is also benefitting from SNP £1bn investment in the schools estate – with a new Monifieth High School being funded.
The SNP has also delivered key projects funding for Arbroath primary schools in recent years, having invested £16.7m across Ladyloan and Muirfield Primaries in 2017 and £13.9m for Hayshead Primary in 2018. The SNP is committed to continuing improvement in school and early years education here in Angus and across Scotland, starting this summer with a package of tailored support to help pupils who have fallen behind during COVID.
Read the SNP manifesto in full here: