Liberal Democrats on Reading Borough Council have welcomed the news that poorest children in Reading will benefit from increased school funding from the Coalition Government via the Pupil Premium.
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 in 2011-12. It will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn.
Evidence shows children from low income families generally do not achieve as well as pupils from more advantaged backgrounds. Schools receive this additional funding on top of the existing school budget to support them in reaching their potential and help schools reduce educational inequalities.
Figures published today by the Department for Education have confirmed that Reading schools with pupils from deprived backgrounds in will benefit from additional funding of £1,589,000.
3,527 children in Reading qualify for extra support via the Pupil Premium.
Reading’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 per child receiving free school meals.
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.
Announcing the increased funding, Children’s Minister Sarah Teather MP 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.’
Cllr Rebecca Rye, Lib Dem Education Spokesperson on Reading Borough Council commented:
“This investment will help ensure all children in Reading reach their full potential – regardless of their background or financial circumstances.
“It will help to tackle Labour’s shocking legacy where the richest 16-year olds are three times as likely to get five good GCSEs as the poorest.