New figures showing an increase in education spend by local authorities have been welcomed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The latest provisional out-turn and budget estimates show education budgets have increased from £4.826 billion in 2016-17 to £4.970 billion in 2017-18.

The newly redeveloped James Gillespie’s campus was officially opened by Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP and Education Convener Paul Godzik on 26 October 2016

Mr Swinney said: “Investment in education is an investment in the future of Scotland’s young people, and so I very much welcome this increase by local authorities – both in terms of last year’s expected spend and allocated budgets for the year ahead.

“However, the way this funding is currently allocated to schools is complex, lacks transparency and varies from council to council. We want far more decisions on school funding to be in the hands of those with the expertise and insight to target resources at the greatest need – the schools themselves.

“We are already giving an additional £120 million Pupil Equity Funding directly to head teachers to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap in their schools.

“We want to build on this approach with a fair funding system for schools. Our consultation runs until 13 October, and I urge everyone to have their say.”