Geoffrey Cox MP has welcomed new figures which show that disadvantaged children in Torridge and West Devon are set to receive £536, 000 this year under the Coalition government’s new ‘pupil premium’.
The pupil premium is a new policy promised by both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats before the general election last year. It is an extra lump sum of cash which follows every disadvantaged child and is received by schools, allowing them to provide additional support such as one-to-one tuition and extra pastoral care.
The Government has announced that in the year from April 2011, the pupil premium will be worth £430 for every pupil on Free School Meals, £430 for every looked-after child, and £200 for every child who has a parent in the armed services. This means that in Torridge and West Devon this year some 1,207 children overall will benefit from an extra £519, 010, and 84 children of members of the armed services will benefit from an extra £16, 800.
Geoffrey Cox MP told the Devon Week: “This is fantastic news for children in Torridge and West Devon. The gap between the academic performance of children from deprived backgrounds and their peers is far too big and has been ignored for too long.
‘The pupil premium will tackle this disparity head on, providing targeted funding for those who need it most. This could mean extra one-to-one tuition or more pastoral support.
‘Service children also face unique stresses and challenges, whether in being separated from a parent who is fighting on the frontline or having to move school on multiple occasions. The pupil premium will provide schools with dedicated funding to help meet their needs.”
(from a press release)