Thirteen local authorities across Scotland have been invited to test Local Outcome Agreements for improved education attainment in schools and children's services.
Another 12 local authorities will use funding from the£90m Better Neighbourhood Services Fund to run pathfinders aimed at delivering improved services in Scotland's most deprived communities.
Commenting on the importance of the pilots, minister for finance and local government, Angus MacKay said:
'Local government in Scotland has a vital role in delivering our national policy priorities and commitments but it also needs the flexibility to respond to local circumstances and needs.
'Local Outcome Agreements offer a new approach to the way in which we work with local government, focussing on improved service targets and outcomes, but also offering the scope to reduce reporting requirements on local authorities and, potentially, the need to ring-fence resources.
'The pilots will allow us to test the full potential of Local Outcome Agreements across two of our key policy priorities - education and children's services.'
1. Local Outcome Agreements were discussed at a joint seminar today, organised by the Scottish executive and CoSLA. The seminar considered the links between Local Outcome Agreements and initiatives to promote best value, better joint working between agencies and more community involvement in decision-making.
2. Local Outcome Agreements are also being considered for other policy priorities including adult literacy, homelessness and improved care services for older people.
3. The local authorities involved in the Better Neighbourhood's Services Fund Local Outcome Agreement and the Education Attainment and Children's Services pilots, are as follows:
Better Neighbourhoods Services Fund: Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, Eilean Siar, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire
Education Attainment: Angus, East Renfrewshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh City, Perth & Kinross, West Lothian
Children's Services: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Fife, Highland, Midlothian, South Ayrshire, Stirling