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Tim's roundtable with South Lakes school heads leads to action on school funding

September 28, 2010 12:00 AM

On Friday, Tim Farron held two roundtable meetings - with Primary School headteachers in the morning and then Secondary School headteachers in the afternoon.

The headteachers welcomed the coalition government's plans to introduce a new 'pupil premium' to direct more funds at those students from the most underprivileged backgrounds. However, Tim is keen to make sure that rural areas like ours get the help they need. If the government uses 'free school meals' as the indicator of need, many children who do need extra support may miss out.

Tim has committed to take the headteachers' concerns to Westminster to make sure that no child is left behind.

Tim said: "The pupil premium is a fantastic achievement and the Lib Dems are proud to have ensured that this happens - but the problem is that in rural areas like ours where unemployment is very low, but where wages are often low too, we need to have a more sophisticated way of calculating how this money is targeted.

"If it's based on those students eligible for free school meals, it may exclude many students who really need the help. That's why I'm asking for the criteria to be changed so that eligibility for tax credits is used instead - that would ensure that those in need in areas like ours get the support they deserve."