SCHOOLS in Glasgow will receive more than a sixth of a new £120 million cash fund set up as part of efforts to close the attainment gap in schools.

A total of £21.6m from the Scottish Government’s Pupil Equity Funding scheme is going to schools in Glasgow City Council, which has some of the worst levels of deprivation in the UK.

Revealing details of the new national fund for the first time John Swinney, the Education Secretary, said money would be allocated to some 2,300 schools across Scotland.

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St Andrew’s Secondary School in Glasgow will receive the largest individual award of £354,000.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s former schools, Dreghorn Primary and Greenwood Academy in North Ayrshire, will receive £74,400 and £178,800 respectively.

The amount of cash each school receives is linked to the number of youngsters who receive free school meals with headteachers being given about £1,200 per pupil.

Ministers had previously planned to fund the scheme with money raised from changes to the council tax system, but this sparked an angry backlash from local authorities.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay then announced in his Budget that the Scottish Government would pay.

Mr Swinney revealed the funding breakdown on a visit to Dalmarnock Primary School in Glasgow’s east end - which will benefit from £278,400.

He said: “This Government has made clear our priority is to close the poverty-related attainment gap and our new £120m Pupil Equity Funding is aimed at doing just that.

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“We are providing additional ring-fenced funding which will enable individual schools to target support where it is needed the most.”

Nancy Clunie, the school’s headteacher, said the “colossal amount of money” would be used to improve basic skills and build links with parents with a home-school worker.

She said: “We have children who don’t come to school because of issues their parents are having and if we could get them here by using a member of staff to work with their parents then that would be a real step forward.

“Another difference between pupils here and those in more affluent parts of Scotland is the experiences they have had and cost of school trips can be a barrier.

“This money will mean every child gets the same experiences as those in other more affluent authorities.”

Eileen Prior, executive director of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, welcomed the fund, but said a better measure of deprivation should be used than free school meals.

She said: “We know many children do not access free school meals even when they are entitled to them... we encourage Scottish Government to look at a more finessed mechanism for distribution of these funds.”

The Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union stressed the extra money should not replace schools’ core funding from local authorities.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said: “This additional investment will help reduce the damaging impact poverty has on education.”

He added: “For far too long, the greatest factor impacting on pupil attainment has been the level of family income - a situation that has only been made worse by austerity politics and cuts to public services, including education.”

Labour and the Greens said the cash was being awarded at a time when councils are facing budget cuts.

Labour education spokesman Daniel Johnson said: “The SNP sums simply don’t add up on schools funding.

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“Ministers cannot cut the gap between the richest and the rest while they slash £327m from local education budgets across Scotland.

“Headteachers will see this new funding alongside shrinking budgets, so it’s simply SNP spin after £1.4 billion of cuts since 2011.”

Greens education spokesman Ross Greer added: “Scottish ministers describe this money as additional, but that’s just not true when they are proposing deep cuts to council budgets.”

The Tories raised concerns that a higher proportion of schools in Scotland will miss out on funding when compared to a similar scheme south of the border.

A total of 114 schools out of 2,500 in Scotland will not receive any cash, according to the Conservatives, compared to 133 schools out 21,500 in England.

Education spokeswoman Liz Smith described the new scheme as a welcome move which will “hopefully go some way to closing Scotland’s stubborn attainment gap”.

But she added: “It’s essential no pupils who need it miss out on this cash. There does appear to be a higher number of schools in Scotland being left out than in England.”

Schools in the Moray area are in line for £1,270,800, while £9,787,200 will go to schools in Fife, £8,871,600 in North Lanarkshire, £7,867,200 in South Lanarkshire, and £7,472,400 will help schools in the Edinburgh City Council area.