Last week the Scottish Executive Education Department published details of expenditure on Scottish school education in 2004-05 and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education published a report titled "Missing Out: a report on Children at risk of missing out on educational opportunities".
Expenditure is rising, but the long standing problem of a lack of attainment for many children living in poverty is not much changed. A BBC story "Pupils' performance gap widening" considers this.
It's not simply about money.
The relationship between social deprivation and educational achievement is clear but complex, and there is a need for a better measure of school effectiveness in terms of 'added-value'. Schools in deprived areas start in more difficult circumstances and may achieve a great deal with their pupils which is not well reflected in exam results.
Other commentators have picked on the issue of local authority and school leadership. Can strong leadership make a difference and overcome to some degree the problems caused by poor economic context?