The Liberal Democrats are announcing today a major investment for schools in Haringey through the Pupil Premium.
In its first year the programme will target £625m extra funding to the poorest children in school, with this figure rising to £2.5bn each year, by the end of this Parliament.
In year one, every school is guaranteed an extra £430 from the Government for every child on free school meals and every looked-after child.
In Haringey that could mean around £4.5 million in extra cash.
For years, Labour told us that children in inner London boroughs were worth more than children here in Haringey. That was a disgrace and we’re bringing it to an end.
The premium gives Headteachers in Haringey the freedom to use the money how they want, in the ways they know work – not how politicians in Whitehall tell them to.”
By helping some of the most disadvantaged children, we can help whole classes work together better and move forward faster. This is great news for children, parents and teachers alike.
Despite the recent controversy, all the evidence shows that the best way to help bright kids from poor families get to university is to target additional resources at them when they are younger and so give them a head start in life.
Nearly 1.4m children will benefit (2010 figures). 17% of all children. In 2011/12, the PP will be distributed under a flat distribution model, so that FSM children will get the same increase, regardless of where they live. The PP figure will reach £2.5bn a year by 2014/15 – both increasing the amount each pupil receives each year and the number of those eligible for extra funding.
Schools that benefit from this additional cash will not be told exactly how to use it. This is part of our plans to give schools greater freedom. But schools will be expected to ensure children struggling with the basics get the extra support they need so they don’t fall irretrievably behind their peers. But every child in the class will benefit from helping any child, particularly any that are struggling.
Looked after children will be eligible for the premium as their attainment is very low – just 15% achieved five good GCSEs last year compared to the national average of 50%.
After year one, as resources for the pupil premium increase, it will be extended to cover more pupils (FSM6), and will be made more responsive to geographical variation in underlying schools budgets. This government’s ambition is to ensure every deprived young person gets access to the same level of educational support, no matter where they live.
The gap between pupils on FSM and their peers is already, sadly, apparent by the time they reach the end of primary school. At secondary the gulf grows wider still.
By sixteen, a pupil not entitled to free school meals is over 3 times more likely to achieve five good GCSEs as one who is entitled.
In 2007/08, out of a cohort of 600,000 pupils, 80,000 pupils were eligible for free school meals. And of those, just 40 made it to Oxbridge. Fewer than from Eton and Westminster.