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Extra funding for Stockton’s children

January 10, 2011 11:46 AM

The Liberal Democrats have announced a major investment for schools in Stockton through the Pupil Premium.

In its first year the programme will target £625m extra funding to the poorest children in school, with this figure rising to £2.5bn each year, by the end of this Parliament.

In year one, every school is guaranteed an extra £430 from the Government for every child on free school meals and every looked-after child.

In Stockton this could mean around £2.25million in extra cash.

Commenting, Julia Cherrett, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Bishopsgarth & Elm Tree, said: "For years, Labour told us that children in just one or two London boroughs were worth more than children here in Stockton. That was a disgrace and we're bringing it to an end.

"The premium gives Headteachers in Stockton the freedom to use the money how they want, in the ways they know work - not how politicians in Whitehall tell them to."

"By helping some of the most disadvantaged children, we can help whole classes work together better and move forward faster. This is great news for children, parents and teachers alike."

Commenting, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minster said:

"I first proposed the idea of a Pupil Premium a decade ago and I was delighted that it was one of four policies on the front of the Liberal Democrat manifesto at the last election. I am even more delighted that it is now becoming a reality.

"Despite the recent controversy, all the evidence shows that the best way to help bright kids from poor families get to university is to target additional resources at them when they are younger and so give them a head start in life."

ENDS

More detailed notes :

· The introduction of the Pupil Premium, additional funds targeted at the most disadvantaged children in the country, has long been a priority for the Liberal Democrats.

· It was one of four policies we put on the front of our manifesto (along with fair taxes; a rebalanced economy; and long-lasting political reform).

· We have already started to deliver on all four of those key priorities.

· By the end of the Spending Review period (2014/15), the Pupil Premium will be worth an additional £2.5bn a year of additional investment in our schools targeted at poor pupils - completely fulfilling the promise made by the Liberal Democrats in our manifesto.

Policy Basics

· On Monday, Michael Gove will set out the details of the first year of the pupil premium, as part of next year's (2011/12) school settlement.

· Each pupil on Free School Meals (FSM) in England will get £430 additional funding on top of the existing per pupil funding. Currently only just over a quarter (27%) of these pupils get 5 good GCSEs.

· In 2011/12, this is an additional £625m of spending.

· Nearly 1.4m children will benefit (2010 figures). 17% of all children.

· In 2011/12, the PP will be distributed under a flat distribution model, so that FSM children will get the same increase, regardless of where they live.

· The PP figure will reach £2.5bn a year by 2014/15 - both increasing the amount each pupil receives each year and the number of those eligible for extra funding.

How will it work?

· Schools that benefit from this additional cash will not be told exactly how to use it. This is part of our plans to give schools greater freedom. But schools will be expected to ensure children struggling with the basics get the extra support they need so they don't fall irretrievably behind their peers. But every child in the class will benefit from helping any child, particularly any that are struggling.

· Looked after children will be eligible for the premium as their attainment is very low - just 15% achieved five good GCSEs last year compared to the national average of 50%.

· After year one, as resources for the pupil premium increase, it will be extended to cover more pupils (FSM6), and will be made more responsive to geographical variation in underlying schools budgets. This government's ambition is to ensure every deprived young person gets access to the same level of educational support, no matter where they live.

Additional Facts

· The gap between pupils on FSM and their peers is already, sadly, apparent by the time they reach the end of primary school. At secondary the gulf grows wider still.

· By sixteen, a pupil not entitled to free school meals is over 3 times more likely to achieve five good GCSEs as one who is entitled.

· In 2007/08, out of a cohort of 600,000 pupils, 80,000 pupils were eligible for free school meals. And of those, just 40 made it to Oxbridge. Fewer than from Eton and Westminster.