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Disadvantaged children receive cash boost

by mikebell on 19 October, 2011

DISADVANTAGED schoolchildren across North Somerset received a boost this week when it was announced they would receive more money from the Government.

Schools across the district will now receive £249,500 more for pupil premiums which will be used on a range of activities for the underprivileged or struggling pupils.

The plans, which were unveiled by Children and Families Minister Sarah Teather, will see the original allotment of £433 per year for each pupil boosted to £488. That will bring the total being spent on pupil premiums across the district to more than £1.6million.

Next year’s pupil premium is set to be doubled from the current amount to £1.25billion for all children nationwide, with that figure set to rise to £2.5billion by 2014/15.

Clive Wilson, headteacher of Christ Church Primary School, said: “This is good news. We use the money to offer a variety of things to the pupils, such as offering after-school clubs, paying for them to have dance and swimming lessons and making sure they can attend organisations such as the scouts and guides.

Peter Binding, headteacher of Worle Community School said: “We use the pupil premiums to help students who are struggling in a variety of different ways, whether it be through free school meals or extra key stage three work for literacy and numeracy.

“It is not ring-fenced so we can use it to make sure that it can help those pupils who are struggling the most.”

Mike Bell, a member of North Somerset Council said: “It is a shocking fact that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to achieve five good GSCEs than their more well-off classmates.

“Education is the best way to end the underachievement of disadvantaged pupils through supporting children comprehensively from early years straight through to secondary school.”

 Reproduced from the Weston Mercury

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