David Laws, the new Liberal Democrat schools minister, will announce on Saturday that the pupil premium paid to schools for every child they take from a disadvantaged background will rise from the current £619 a pupil to £900 in September 2014. This is from the Guardian…
Laws will tell his party’s conference that it means they have met their commitment to spend £2.5bn on the pupil premium in 2014-15, the last full year of the parliament.
Ofsted, the schools inspector, expressed concern this week at the lack of accountability over how schools spend the extra cash. Lib Dems want to see schools do more to spell out how the extra funds are spent.
Schools receive the premium for every child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the past six years and children in care who have been looked after for six months. Laws and Nick Clegg see the premium as central to their drive to improve social mobility.
Laws will tell his conference on its opening day: “Opportunity cannot only extend to the boundaries of the playing fields of Eton, or even Westminster. It must be available in every school, in every community, in every part of our country. We are moving from an education system which entrenched privilege, to an education system which will hand opportunity to every child.”
Latest official statistics show 35% of pupils on free school meals achieved five good GCSE grades compared with 62% of other pupils.