Next year, more than half a million additional children will qualify for the Pupil Premium. In Haringey, close to 15,000 pupils are expected to be eligible, meaning that our schools are set to benefit from an extra £8.8 million to support disadvantaged pupils, an increase from the £5.3 million local schools got this year.
The Pupil Premium will be extending its reach to cover any child that has been registered for Free School Meals (FSM) in the past six years. For 2012-13, the Premium will be worth £1.25 billion in total.
These are England’s most disadvantaged pupils, including looked after children, and they are set to benefit from £600 each after the Department for Education announced that next year’s Pupil Premium will increase by £112 for each pupil.
Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“For too long, social background has been a deciding factor in a child’s chances for the future. As a Liberal Democrat, I believe that in a fair society, a Government should work to overcome this disadvantage and help children reach their full potential.
“That’s why I am delighted that next year, Haringey’s schools will get an extra
£8.8 million to support disadvantaged pupils through the pupil premium. That’s up £3.5 million from Haringey’s allocation this year. This will make a big difference to schools across Haringey, with schools themselves deciding how best to use the funds.”
Haringey Liberal Democrat Children’s spokesperson Cllr Katherine Reece adds:
“Children who have been eligible for Free School Meals at any point in their school career have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible. Of students gaining three As at A-level in 2008, 30 per cent were privately educated, whereas only 0.5 per cent were eligible for Free School Meals.
“That is why thanks to Liberal Democrats, the Coalition Government is doing the right thing by supporting schools with additional money to support children from less well-off backgrounds. This will help whole classes work better together and move forward faster.”
Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather said:
“As we come to the end of the second term of the Pupil Premium we are seeing across the country how these extra funds are making a difference. Additional tuition, better IT resources and closer work with parents are all examples of how the Pupil Premium is being used to support the most disadvantaged pupils.
“That’s why I’m so pleased that, next year, we’ll be extending the Pupil Premium to another half a million children, and increasing the money that schools get to £600 per pupil. This means that, as a result of Liberal Democrats in government, more children will get a better start in life”.
The real challenge for society
How to make all Schools as good as the best (including private schools)
Some characteristics of excellent schools include excellent teachers,small class sizes,great resources and yes the courage to offer a wide and flexible curriculum that meet the needs of all pupils.
It shouldn’t be that for a parent with no decent or appropriate schools near them they either have to move or (if they can afford it pay for private education)
Private education buys;
Small class size
Removal from local deprivation factors (huge factor)
Better resources including buildings
A curriculum and pedagogy parents are happy with.
Behind the deprivation factor is the influence of good parenting which competes the triangle of parent teacher and school
Just some thoughts
I don’t want to sound ungrateful but there is a problem. I’m chair of governors at a school in Tottenham. We have gained about 40K in pupil premium this year and lost far more in cuts overall. The problem is that many of our children do not qualify for free school meals and never have. We have only 27% FSM even though we have invested in trying to get the take-up improved and by taking the application process in-house.
In order to be eligible for free school meals, you have to be claiming income support or Job Seekers’ Allowance. A lot of Haringey children are from families with no recourse to public funds and can’t claim benefits at all. Some are of course not here lawfully, but we can’t turn children away if we suspect this. A lot of our families are on tiny incomes, topped up by tax credits. Their children aren’t eligible, either.
It’s £10 a week for school dinners. Our problem is children whose parents can’t claim. They bring a few cheap biscuits to school in a polythene bag; hiding them in their laps. We’ve recently seen figures which show that our highest performing children are our FSM kids. Has anybody raised this issue with you so far?
For too long, social background has been a deciding factor in a child’s chances for the future. As a Liberal Democrat, I believe that in a fair society, a Government should work to overcome this disadvantage and help children reach their full potential.
Which is why you are cutting tax credits for the poorest families with children? The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming.