Good news on the Pupil Premium

The Independent reports:

Thinking outside the box can do wonders for disadvantaged pupils, according to evidence from schools about how they are using the Government’s pupil premium to improve performance.

In one case, the simple act of buying a pupil a football kit and providing soccer coaching, as his parents were unable to afford it, dramatically improved his performance, Schools minister David Laws told The Independent. “It got him taking part in lessons and attending again,” said the Liberal Democrat.

On Wednesday the Pupil Premium awards will highlight those schools who are making the most of the extra funding and targeting at the most disadvantaged children. You can see the finalists here. Last year the winner in the Secondary category was Millfield Science and Performing Arts College, where 2014 disadvantaged students actually out-performed their non-disadvantaged peers at GCSE.

The Pupil Premium was one of our flagship policies in our 2010 manifesto and a red line in Coalition negotiations, so it is not surprising that we are explaining how successful it proved to be whenever we get the chance.

Here is David Laws talking about the Pupil Premium awards last year:

Today Lib Dem HQ quotes Nick Clegg saying :

It is a national tragedy that in a modern, open society like ours a child’s destiny is still being determined by their background. That’s why I’ve made it a priority to help pupils catch up and keep up.

This new analysis challenges the myth that children from wealthy families will always do better than their less privileged peers. This is why I introduced the Pupil Premium in the first place.

We still have a long way to go and need to continue investing so that all children get the best start in life.

I want all schools to reach those heights so that we can build a fairer society for all,  and banish the link between a family’s wealth and their child’s success to the history books.

 

 

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames and is a member of Federal Conference Committee.

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2 Comments

  • It’s great to see positive coverage of the pupil’s premium, but my reading of the lessons learnt is that we should devolve decision making to lower levels and allow more space for professional discretion than currently. It would be great to see us occasionally recognise traditional liberal free choice agenda.

  • Jane Ann Liston 30th Mar '15 - 10:40am

    Just heard someone on Woman’s Hour explaining how they were able to use pupil premium money to help disadvantaged girls who were self-harming. Sounds like evidence of this policy’s benefits does it not?. I only wish that we had it in Scotland.

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