Disadvantaged children receive cash boost

DISADVANTAGED schoolchildren across North Somerset received a boost this week when it was announced they would receive more money from the Government.

Schools across the district will now receive �249,500 more for pupil premiums which will be used on a range of activities for the underprivileged or struggling pupils.

The plans, which were unveiled by Children and Families Minister Sarah Teather, will see the original allotment of �433 per year for each pupil boosted to �488. That will bring the total being spent on pupil premiums across the district to more than �1.6million.

Next year’s pupil premium is set to be doubled from the current amount to �1.25billion for all children nationwide, with that figure set to rise to �2.5billion by 2014/15.

Clive Wilson, headteacher of Christ Church Primary School, said: “This is good news. We use the money to offer a variety of things to the pupils, such as offering after-school clubs, paying for them to have dance and swimming lessons and making sure they can attend organisations such as the scouts and guides.

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Peter Binding, headteacher of Worle Community School said: “We use the pupil premiums to help students who are struggling in a variety of different ways, whether it be through free school meals or extra key stage three work for literacy and numeracy.

“It is not ring-fenced so we can use it to make sure that it can help those pupils who are struggling the most.”

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Mike Bell, a member of North Somerset Council said: “It is a shocking fact that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to achieve five good GSCEs than their more well-off classmates.

“Education is the best way to end the underachievement of disadvantaged pupils through supporting children comprehensively from early years straight through to secondary school.”

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