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MP welcomes massive pupil premium increase

July 17, 2013 2:11 PM

Tim Farron MP at Kendal Nursery SchoolSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the government announcement of a 44% increase in the pupil premium by 2015.

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg, announced today a big increase in the pupil premium for disadvantaged primary school children, given to those on free school meals. It will lift from £900 in 2013-14 to £1,300 in 2015.

The per-head premium will also rise for secondary school pupils but, for the first time, primary school pupils will see a greater rate of increase. The overall cost of the pupil premium will rise from £1.9bn this year to £2.5bn next year.

The pupil premium is one of the Lib Dems' signature policies which featured prominently in its general election manifesto in 2010. The party said on the first page of its manifesto that it would invest £2.5bn "in schools targeted to help struggling pupils" - a target that will be met with the announcement.

The pupil premium was introduced in April 2011 for pupils in England from low-income families. Under the scheme, schools in disadvantaged areas in England are allotted £600 per head to help give extra tailored support to poorer children.

In 2012 local schools gained from the pupil premium. QueenKatherineSchool in Kendal received £94,200 to support 157 pupils, UlverstonVictoriaHigh School received £102,300 to help 172 young people and MilnthorpePrimary School was given £12,600. Nearly every school in Cumbria was given extra support under the scheme.

In Westmorland and Lonsdale the funding will rise to £726,400 and will help an estimated further 559 pupils.

Tim said: "Knowing that thousands of young people are getting the help and support they need is fantastic news. I know that the funds that we have helped secure will give local young people the chance to learn and hopefully open many doors and make a massive difference. Education is the essential investment in a young person's life - we need to make sure we allow every child to reach their full potential and I know that this funding is a step in the right direction."