The SNP and Green Scottish Government has cut funding to West Dunbartonshire Council and other poorer council areas to redistribute to more affluent areas in Scotland.

Our SNP MSP is supporting this move to take money earmarked for the children of Clydebank and instead re-direct to well-off council areas across Scotland.

I was part of a Labour council which recognised, long before the Scottish Government did, that we had to target funding towards raising attainment. As a result, our teaching staff made considerable progress.

The Scottish Government has just announced it is reforming the Scottish Attainment Challenge Fund with year-on-year reductions to pupils funding. The £42million previously targeted and distributed across Scotland’s nine most deprived local authorities including West Dunbartonshire will now instead be dispersed to all 32 local authorities including councils which have the highest performing schools and most well-off families.

This is absolutely disgusting. To cut £2m from West Dunbartonshire and some of the poorest children in the country is simply callous. I would have expected this from a Conservative government but this move from the Tartan Tories would make even Old Etonians blush.

I understand the rationale to try to target and aid poor families who live in affluent council areas, but we can do this with extra targeting funding.

To take away from the children of Clydebank in order to do so is counter productive and will inevitable lead to a very negative impact on the education of our children and widen yet further the education gap. We are quite literally robbing the poor to pay the rich.

There is a clear link between poverty and attainment. We cannot replace the £2m slashed from West Dunbartonshire schools. Attainment hasn’t improved under this SNP council, and after all the time lost through Covid-19, this move will do nothing for the educational recovery of our young people in Clydebank who need more support not less.

At the last election we all promised an Education Recovery Plan. That didn’t include removing £2m from Clydebank children.

The First Minister once said that closing the attainment gap was a defining mission of hers. It’s difficult to see how these cuts to West Dunbartonshire support this mission.

Your Labour Party councillors will now fight against this, we have demanded an urgent report come to our next council meeting to see how we can mitigate against the cuts imposed on us by our SNP MSPs.