Kirsty Williams extends help to disadvantaged children in school

Welsh Lib Dem education secretary Kirsty Williams has announced an increase in funding for disadvantaged children in school.

The announcement will provide support to an additional 14,000 learners.

Introduced in 2018, PDG-Access helps families cover the costs of school uniform, sports kits, as well as equipment for activities outside of the school. To receive the support, learners must be eligible for free school meals.

Currently, PDG-Access is worth £125 per eligible pupil entering reception class in primary school or Year 7. Today’s announcement means the scheme will be extended to include Year 3 and Year 10, and provide funding for looked after children (LAC) in every compulsory school year. Eligible families of Year 7 pupils will receive £200, instead of the current £125; relieving some of the increased costs associated with starting secondary school.

Extending the PDG was a key part of the Progressive Agreement between the First Minister and Kirsty Williams.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

The Pupil Development Grant (PDG) is a key Welsh Liberal Democrat policy that supports our most disadvantaged pupils. I am delighted we have been able to extend the policy further to support families with the cost of uniforms and school equipment.

This, alongside Kirsty Williams’ pledge to introduce statutory guidance to reduce the cost of schools uniforms, will go a long way in supporting families.

Kirsty  said:

Breaking the cycle of poverty and disadvantage is paramount, and at the heart of our national mission to raise standards for all our learners.

The additional money announced today will mean that more learners will be eligible for funding, and more money will be available for parents of children transitioning from primary to secondary, which as we all know can be an expensive time

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  • Tony Harris 8th Apr '19 - 7:39am

    A fabulous initiative. The present UK government continues to ignore the needs of low income families. The equipment cost of starting a child at school is extreme and out of reach of many families on low incomes. Children from these families then end up going to school often kitted out inappropriately which immediately sets them apart and often leads to bullying. Well done Kirsty! Let’s hope the UK government takes a lead from this initiative.

  • Looking at todays Welsh YOUGOV Poll, see Change at 9% and Lib Dems 7%. If we assume there will be European Elections then are the two groups going to agree on not standing against each other, or perhaps they have already done so.

  • David Becket 8th Apr '19 - 12:02pm

    Very good initiative, but no effect on our polls. A good speech by Jane Dodds, still no impact, but a candidate who cannot be bothered to turn up to the count hits the headlines. This party needs better management, better organisation and better PR, and we need it now.

  • Peter Hirst 8th Apr '19 - 12:29pm

    Teachers like the police are fast becoming social workers. When you see the causes of an issue relevant to your work lie beyond your job description it is tempting to enlarge your role. What is needed is clear referral routes and adequate resources so that pupils can learn and potential criminals turned to lawful pursuits. It requires inter-sector communication, something this country does not do well.

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