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MP calls for Pupil Premium to be extended to young carers

May 2, 2014 4:14 PM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the government to look at extending the pupil premium to young carers.

Tim believes that young carers do a vital, selfless job, often at their own expense. He also believes that the statistics back up his case for extra support being given to young carers - 27% of young carers of secondary school age experience educational difficulties or miss school, 68% experience bullying and as a group, young carers have a significantly lower attainment level at GCSE.

The pupil premium is additional funding given to publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers. Currently, not all young carers are eligible for the funding. Tim wants to close this loophole and make sure every young carer gets the support they need.

In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, pupil premium funding will increase to:

  • £1,300 for each eligible primary-aged pupil
  • £935 for each eligible secondary-aged pupil

The funding is available for headteachers to spend as they see fit, with some schools choosing to invest it in catch up classes, extra tuition, or extra support for eligible pupils.

Tim said: "As a Dad I know what a little extra help can do, so I want to make sure that young carers get the help and support they deserve. Young carers are amazing people, they really are unsung heroes and we need to do all we can to help them. It must be incredibly hard to juggle learning and caring for a loved one. I want to help young carers achieve their potential.

"I know that pupil premium funds are giving 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. I know that this funding is a step in the right direction. If we can change these rules, it will make a massive difference for young carers."