A Scottish Government fund aimed at boosting the attainment levels of the most deprived pupils is set to pay out nearly £3.6million to schools in the Falkirk Council area in 2018-19.

A total of 2387 schools across Scotland, including 61 in Falkirk district, will benefit from the Pupil Equity Fund, which will give more than £122million directly to headteachers so they can spend the money on initiatives that will close the poverty-related attainment gap.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “The SNP has made closing the attainment gap our priority in this parliament and this latest investment of £3.577million in 61 of our local schools will benefit thousands of children and play a key part to help us achieve that.

“Every child, no matter their background, deserves the best possible start in life – and this fund recognises the absolutely vital role that our schools play in giving children the support they need to succeed.

“That’s why this significant amount of cash goes straight to headteachers, giving the people with the best knowledge of their schools and pupils the ability to develop projects that will be most effective to close the poverty-related attainment gap.

“With 61 local schools receiving money from this latest round of funding – following an investment of £3.539million this year – even more of our children in Falkirk district are going to benefit from creative new initiatives that will help them to achieve their full potential.”