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SNP Glasgow Council advise schools to use attainment gap funds to save cash

SNP run Glasgow Council have advised schools to use funds set aside for attainment gap management to pay for other expenses, such as Janitor's overtime costs.

Headteachers have reportedly been told to use the Pupil Equity Fund, which is supposed to help children from poor backgrounds, to plug a funding gap for janitors.

Education services resource manager Alasdair Henderson suggested ways schools could get around red tape and use the cash for janitors’ wages.

Alasdair Henderson said: “You will be able to use PEF monies for additional janitorial hours, for example, if analysis and reporting of attainment is undertaken outwith core hours or study clubs and family learning sessions take place.”

In August of this year, as part of a deal to end a 20 month dispute and a series of strikes by janitors, the incoming SNP administration agreed a deal with Cordia. It is understood the janitors received a 6% pay deal.

This agreement removed automatic janitorial cover from all primaries after 4pm. It is understood extra costs for out-of-hours janitor's fees could be well in excess of £1200.

Labour’s shadow education minister Daniel Johnson said: “Labour repeatedly warned that the Pupil Equity Fund should not be used to cover SNP cuts – but that’s exactly what appears to be happening.

“Rather than tackling inequality in our schools, SNP councils are instead telling head teachers to divert it to pay for janitors’ overtime. This is unacceptable.

“Given SNP ministers have a say in how this money is spent, they must urgently outline whether they think this an appropriate use of the Pupil Equity Fund.”

Ricky Bell, SNP councillor for Govan Ward, also took to Twitter to say that the Pupil Equity fund would not be used for janitorial expenses.

Ricky Bell said: "The resolution of the janitor’s strike did not and will not include the use of pupil equity funding.

“This confusion has been caused by a miscommunication between council services and we are looking into why this happened.”

Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative MSP, also took to Titter to criticise the SNP suggestions.

She said: "A good janitor in any school is worth his/her weight in gold. But his/her overtime payments should not be coming from the pupil equity fund, nor should a council be telling heads how to spend the money. So much for more autonomy for heads."

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