Minister gives Huppert assurances over Pupil Premium

11 February, 2014 No Comments

Schools Minister, David Laws has given Cambridge MP Julian Huppert assurances that infant school children will still receive the same level of Pupil Premium when all children are entitled to free school meals.

Julian raised his concerns after it was not clear how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools based on the number of pupils receiving free school meals, would be calculated when the new system is introduced.

But Liberal Democrat Minister, Mr Laws reassured Julian that “schools will continue to receive Pupil Premium funding on the same basis as before”.

“Funding allocations for 2014-15 will be based on school census data collected this January,” he said. “In subsequent years, the Department of Education will continue to use the school census to gather the same date about pupils in families that receive the relevant benefits that currently entitle them to a free school meal. This information will be used to allocate the Pupil Premium as well as other deprivation-related school funding.”

Free school meals for all infant children and the Pupil Premium, which is designed to make sure every child gets a fair start by giving those from poorer families the extra help needed to keep up with their classmates, were launched by the Liberal Democrats.

Julian said later: “The Pupil Premium has been very well-received in Cambridge and schools report that it has made a big difference to youngsters from disadvantaged families giving them extra support and helping to make an easier transition from primary to secondary school.

“I want to make sure that when we provide free school meals for all infant school children the government has a fail-safe allocation system in place which means that none of the children benefiting from the Pupil Premium miss out.

“I am encouraged by the reassurance given by Mr Laws but I will continue to watch this matter closely to make sure that schools still receive the money to which they are entitled for these children.”

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