Karen Lumley MP for Redditch County welcomes doubling of the pupil premium and hails plans for more!
Karen has given a warm welcome to the government’s announcement that the total amount paid out for the pupil premium will double next year, that there will be an immediate increase of £58 per pupil and that schools in Redditch have already received almost £1 million to target spending on more deprived pupils.
Karen, who has campaigned for many years for a fairer system of school funding, advocated a pupil premium before the general election and welcomed its inclusion in the Coalition agreement. She has spoken in Parliament to support it and to congratulate Ministers on finding extra money for it as well as extending the scheme to service families and looked after children.
Figures from the Department of Education show that 1958 pupils in Redditch are eligible for the full pupil premium and there are 13 service children eligible for the service child premium. Across the County there are 9,398 pupils eligible on the basis of deprivation, 67 service children and 352 looked after children who will benefit from a total £4,771,000 funding. England’s most disadvantaged pupils are set to benefit from an extra £58 each after the Department for Education announced this year’s Pupil Premium will increase to £488. Schools receive the extra cash for every child eligible for free school meals (FSMs). The money has been released because fewer-than-expected children have registered for FSMs this year.
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said: “The Pupil Premium will benefit poorer pupils, providing extra money directly for those pupils who need it the most. We know that just 27 per cent of pupils on free school meals get five good GCSE grades compared with 54 per cent of non-free school meal pupils. This extra funding will help tackle this inequality and enable schools to provide the extra support they need to reach their full potential.”
News of the extra cash comes after Ministers recently announced that the total funding available for the Pupil Premium in 2012-13 will rise to £1.25bn, double the amount this year. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also recently announced a new £50 million Pupil Premium summer school programme to help the most disadvantaged pupils make the transition from primary to secondary school. The scheme will help up to 100,000 pupils per year. They will benefit from two weeks of additional teaching through the scheme.
Karen said, “I am delighted to see from government figures published that schools in the Redditch area are receiving close to £1 million and across our county almost £5 million in pupil premium payments this year, that those payments are increasing as from this week and that next year’s payment will be even more substantial. As I have said before, for far too long Worcestershire schools have been poorly served by a complex and wrong headed funding formula, this cannot be allowed to continue. I am continuing to actively campaign to have that formula reformed but the impact of the pupil premium is a big positive step forward in addressing the balance. Even in such difficult economic times, and I’m sure many would agree, that it is essential that the government should invest everything it can afford in the future of young people and the pupil premium is an excellent way of making sure those most in need of help receive it.”