Head teachers across West Dunbartonshire are working with education officers to close the attainment gap as council funding is cut by more than £2million.

Over the last few years money awarded to the council by the Scottish Government has sat at around £2.04m annually, but because of the “refreshed attainment challenge” West Dunbartonshire Council will lose more than £2.04m over the next four years.

It comes following the Scottish Government’s decision to change the system to improve outcomes for children and young people impacted by poverty.

This means that funding  of £43m will be spread equally across the 32 local councils instead of the “nine challenge authorities” – which included West Dunbartonshire – who received more funding.

Over the next four financial years West Dunbartonshire Council will receive £1.7m, £1.4m, £1.1m and £851,000 respectively.

An update was brought before the education committee on Wednesday.

Council leader Martin Rooney said: “The report shows that the attainment challenge fund changes its name to strategic equity funding. 

“In West Dunbartonshire funding will be reduced from £2.04m down to £851,743 by 2025/26.

"Had we continued to receive the £2m, then over the four year period this would have totalled more £8m but instead we get year on year reductions and get an overall cut of more than £2m.

“How does cutting funding and teachers improve attainment in West Dunbartonshire?”

Before the local elections, West Dunbartonshire Council had written to the Scottish Government to challenge their decision. 

Councillor Rooney was advised that the local authority would need to use common sense and work with head teachers to make sure the money awarded is used appropriately.

Senior education officer Laura Mason said: “The common sense answer to that is we need to prioritise funding, we need to be really clear where we are targeting this resource and we have a very good foundation for that because we know very well how our schools and young people are performing.

“We will continue to monitor it to make sure that we have it right.

"We will need to keep the head teachers on board so we can target where the funding needs to go.”