Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed new figures showing spending on education in North Ayrshire rose by £4.9 million last year.

The figures show councils spent £547 million more on education in 2019-20 than the previous year – a real terms spending increase of 8% across Scotland.

The increase was driven in large part by the SNP’s flagship policy of expanding free childcare.

Commenting, Ruth Maguire MSP said:

“This SNP Government is absolutely committed to ensuring that our young people here in North Ayrshire, and across Scotland, get the best possible start in life.

“Local councils have been handed the cash needed to increase free childcare and early learning and are continuing to invest to improve attainment in schools.

“The coronavirus pandemic has understandably been a difficult time for schools and nurseries, and has underlined the importance of investing in education – which is why the Scottish Government is expanding free school meals over the summer holidays and providing extra financial support for higher education students.

“Despite these uncertain times, the Education Secretary has been clear that even more children and families will be able to benefit from this childcare expansion in the year ahead.”

Official Statistics publication of ‘Local Government 2019-20 Provisional Outturn and 2020-21 Budget Estimates – Revenue’ can be found here.