Pupil premium is helping cumbrian children get better exam results - Farron
Hundreds of disadvantaged schoolchildren in Cumbria are reaping the benefit of the Pupil Premium, according to local MP Tim Farron. Tim highlighted figures from the education regulator Ofsted which showed a 2.1% increase in attainment for students on the pupil premium.
Figures show that last year 25.9% of youngsters from poorer backgrounds in Cumbria achieved five or more GCSEs at A* to C grade. This is up from 23.8% in 2012 as payments introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government begin to have a greater impact.
Ofsted said the figures showed head teachers were spending their pupil premium money more effectively with the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates closing.
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.
The latest government figures show that local schools were gaining from the policy. For example, Queen Katherine School in Kendal received £94,200 to support 157 pupils, Ulverston Victoria High School received £102,300 to help 172 young people and Milnthorpe Primary School was given £12,600. Nearly every school in Cumbria was given extra support under the scheme.
The government recently outlined the funding for schools in 2014-2015 with the total pupil premium budget increasing from £1.875 billion to £2.5 billion. Schools will receive £1300 for every primary pupil currently eligible for free school meals and a higher rate of £1900 for children in care. That means 13,030 pupils in Cumbria will benefit, receiving £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.
Tim said: "This is further proof that the Pupil Premium is transforming the chances of pupils across the country.
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."
"We have already made sure that from September all infants will receive free school meals. I'm really pleased that we are helping all pupils achieve their potential."