MP welcomes massive uplift in pupil premium funding
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the government announcement of a further increase in pupil premium funding.
In a Written Ministerial statement to Parliament the government outlined the funding for schools in 2014-2015. In Cumbria 13,030 pupils will benefit and the county will be given £15,064,000. In Westmorland & Lonsdale 1,130 young people will be given an extra £1,252,000 worth of help and support. The funding rises from the £726,400 previously allocated last July.
In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, the total pupil premium budget will increase from £1.875 billion to £2.5 billion. Schools will receive £1300 for every primary pupil currently eligible for free school meals. The government are also introducing a higher rate of £1900 for looked-after children.
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.
Tim said: "As a Dad I know what a little extra help can do, so this funding is really welcome. 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."