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3 December 2014

(S4O-03766) Raising Attainment for All Programme

6. Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Government how the raising attainment for all programme is raising the standards of education in schools. (S4O-03766)

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (Angela Constance): Raising attainment and reducing educational inequality is a top priority for the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and all our partners. The raising attainment for all programme was launched in June this year. It involves more than 150 schools from 12 local authorities and it brings a structured approach to improvement into Scottish schools. The raising attainment for all programme will complement the other work that was announced in the programme for government, including the read, write, count campaign and the creation of attainment advisers for every local authority through Education Scotland.

Stewart Stevenson: I welcome the minister’s answer and the Government’s ambition. Can she explain further how the programme is going to make a difference in breaking the connection that currently exists between social deprivation and the level of educational achievement for too many pupils?

Angela Constance: Of course, poverty does not stop at the school gates. We know that poverty can undermine our efforts to make progress and Westminster policies are undeniably making the situation more challenging. However, education brings choices and opportunities. It brings routes out of poverty for children and young people and it can and should be the key to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, which can be all too real in modern-day Scotland.

The raising attainment for all programme and the other interventions that I mentioned will indeed help schools to focus relentlessly on doing everything that they can to erode that connection between deprivation and poor educational attainment.

Stewart Stevenson
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