COUNCIL funding for both primary and secondary pupils has fallen by hundreds of pounds per head since 2010, according to official figures.

Scottish Labour blamed disproportionate Scottish Government cuts to local government budgets and claimed the SNP has failed to shield schools from Tory austerity.

The Government said Labour had a “brass neck” for laying Tory austerity at the SNP’s door.

Figures from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework revealed a real terms fall in spending of £427 per primary pupil and £265 per secondary pupil.

Although spending per pupil varies between councils, the Scottish average was £4,984 per primary pupil in 2017-18, compared to £5,411 in 2010-11, a drop of 7.9 per cent.

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For secondary pupils, the average was £6,880 in 2017-18 compared to £7,415 in 2010-11, a fall of 3.7%.

According to Audit Scotland, councils budgets have fallen by 7% in real terms since 2013/14, compared to a fall in the Scottish Government’s revenue budget of just 1.7%.

The spending watchdog says the squeeze has left councils, which spend around 40% of their budgets on schools, facing significant pressures.

Nicola Sturgeon has promised to make education her top priority in government, with an extra £125m a year to help close the attainment gap between better-off and poor pupils.

Labour MSP Iain Gray MSP, said: “For almost a decade now the SNP has failed to stand up to Tory austerity, and instead turned Holyrood into a conveyor belt for cuts.

“The consequences of that is huge falls in per head spending for our school pupils, with spending per primary pupil over £400 less in real terms than it was in 2010.

“We can’t give our young people the best chance to get on in life while cutting school budgets and we will not see the attainment gap close with overworked teachers facing increasing class sizes.”

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A spokesman for Education Secretary John Swinney said: “It takes some level of brass neck for Labour to blame the SNP for Tory austerity when they themselves campaigned to ensure the Tories at Westminster will continue to set Scotland’s budget and be able to inflict austerity on our public services.

“It was Gordon Brown who kicked off austerity as prime minister, and the Tories who continued it with zeal.”

He went on: “Despite the constraints placed on our budget by Westminster, total revenue spending on schools has risen by over £600m since the SNP took office, and spend per pupil is increasing.

“Recent figures revealed that over 94% of pupils had a ‘positive destination’ - including work, training or further study - within three months of leaving school last year.

“They also showed pupils are staying at school for longer and gaining more qualifications between fourth and sixth year. The attainment gap between school leavers achieving a pass at Higher Level or better is at a record low.”