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£11 million for pupil premium will transform lives in Cumbria - Farron

December 20, 2012 1:00 PM

TFGovernment Minister David Laws MP has joined with South Lakes MP Tim Farron to announce that schools in Cumbria will be given over £11 million in 2013/14. Tim described the funding as 'an early Christmas present for local schools.'

The cash is an increase in the Pupil Premium funding, which targets extra money to schools depending on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have.

The Pupil Premium is a major Liberal Democrat priority that is being delivered by the Coalition Government.

In Cumbria, an estimated 12,720 pupils are eligible for the extra funding, meaning that our schools are set to benefit from an additional £11,384,000 to support disadvantaged children. In Westmorland and Lonsdale 1,070 pupils will benefit, with schools receiving an extra £963,000.

In Barrow and Furness an estimated 3,010 pupils will be eligible and they will receive £2,693,000. In Penrith and the Border an estimated 1,390 pupils are eligible, who will receive £1,222,000.

The Pupil Premium covers any primary or secondary school pupil that has been registered for Free School Meals in the past six years. For 2013/14, the Premium will be worth £1.65bn, or £900 per pupil, in total.

Recent figures sourced by Tim Farron MP, showed that last year Cumbria received £7,147,000 through the Pupil Premium to help support 11,922 pupils throughout the county.

Tim said: "The pupil premium is a flagship policy that is making a real difference in schools through Cumbria. Having spoken to teachers across Cumbria, I know that the money is making a real difference to the lives of local young people. I am passionate that we do more to make sure that children are not held back by poverty and disadvantage.

"For too long, social background has been a deciding factor in a child's chances for the future. This money does not just help the poorest children, it helps every child. Fewer children falling behind means a better education for everyone."

Commenting further, Schools Minister, David Laws MP said: "We are already seeing across the country how the Pupil Premium is making a difference to children's lives. Tim has been a tireless advocate for this policy and the funding that Cumbria has received today is down to him and his campaigning. Extra tuition, better IT resources and closer work with parents are all examples of how the Pupil Premium is being used to support the most disadvantaged pupils and benefit all their classmates too.

"That's why I'm so pleased that, next year, we'll be extending the Pupil Premium to another half a million children, and increasing the money that schools get to £900 per pupil."