Alan Reid MP has criticised the SNP Government for ignoring poorer pupils in Argyll and Bute after the Scottish Education Secretary revealed that local children are set to miss out on a new attainment fund.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, the Education Secretary said that Glasgow, Dundee, Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire, North Ayrshire, Clackmannanshire and North Lanarkshire would be the first beneficiaries of the Attainment Scotland Fund.
Speaking after the Scottish Government debate on attainment at the Scottish Parliament, Alan Reid said: "I always welcome any additional resource which has the potential of helping more children get on in life but children here in Argyll and Bute are just as deserving of support as those in Glasgow and other central belt Council areas.
“I’m sure that the £20million fund will deliver genuine improvements to the areas selected. But the Scottish Government has abandoned poorer pupils living outside the central belt.
“Everyone knows that there are pockets of deprivation right across Scotland. That is as true here as anywhere else: zones in the towns of Oban, Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Dunoon and Rothesay are in the 15 per cent of most income-deprived in Scotland.
“Education funds should be allocated in a way which targets the pupil rather than the school or neighbourhood. This would mean more pupils living in poverty here in Argyll and Bute would have the chance they need to get on in life.
"The Scottish Government should reassess its approach so that pupils in communities across Scotland get the support they need. Tackling inequality must be based on fairness.”
SIMD 2009 ranked nine data zones in Argyll and Bute among the 15% most income deprived data zones in Scotland. These are all located in towns (Helensburgh, Dunoon, Rothesay, Campbeltown and Oban).