Cllr Paul Hodgkinson has welcomed a scheme promoted by the coalition government that will pump nearly £450,000 of extra funding into schools in the Cotswold district.
The extra cash – amounting to nearly £500 per child under the Pupil Premium initiative – will be used to help children from less privileged backgrounds reach their full educational potential. All children receiving free school meals qualify and the money will be given to their school heads who can decide how to spend it on their behalf.
Primary and secondary schools in Cirencester will see the most benefit with Chesterton Primary receiving a total of more than £18,000, Watermoor Primary £19,000 and Deer Park school £32,000. In the Churn Valley, North Cerney Primary School will benefit by £7320 this year.
The Pupil Premium was a major manifesto commitment by the Liberal Democrats at the 2010 general election, playing a key role in the negotiations that led to the coalition agreement.
Original plans for an extra £430 per pupil have now been boosted by £100m, pushing the amount paid per qualifying child to just under £500.
News of the extra money for the Cotswolds comes after, Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather recently announced that the total Pupil Premium funding for next year will rise to £1.25bn, double the amount in 2011-12. Thanks to Liberal Democrats, it will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn.
Paul commented; “It is shocking that, nationally, pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to achieve five good GCSEs than their more well-off classmates. This extra money finally reverses this worrying trend which was allowed to continue under the previous government.”
“We now look forward to working with our schools in the area to help overcome the barriers to achievement that some of the pupils in our community currently face.”