Tag Archives: pupil premium

The Independent View: Clegg’s Pupil Premium could be wasted

Keen to move on from the poor headlines of the last few weeks, Nick Clegg has sought to re-focus attention on his flagship social mobility agenda with a speech on the Pupil Premium.

The Pupil Premium is the government’s main policy for reducing educational inequality in schools, meaning that schools get extra funding for every child on Free School Meals (£488 this year, £600 next year). IPPR has always welcomed the Pupil Premium but have expressed concerns that it will not be spent directly on providing extra support for the children who need it. Under the current model, schools are free to spend it on whatever they like – and the majority of heads say they are using it to plug gaps in existing budgets.

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

‘Nick Clegg sets out plans to break private schools’ grip on establishment’

Nick Clegg has long championed the pupil premium, new money allocated to schools to help boost the educational chances of children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. Today’s Guardian reports how he plans in a major speech on Monday to emphasise its importance in improving social mobility in the UK:

Nick Clegg will next week set out long-term plans to break the grip of private schools on the British establishment when he publishes proposals for a surge in social mobility based on the “pupil premium”. … Clegg, launching a two-week drive on social mobility, which he sees as one of the

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Andrew Stunell MP writes… Launching the Liberal Democrats’ local election campaign

Local Election Day is now exactly a month away for most of Metropolitan England as well as across the whole of Scotland and Wales. Nick Clegg was in my own area of Stockport earlier today to officially launch the Liberal Democrat local election campaign, visiting a local business and speaking with councillors, business owners and local people.

I’ve no doubt that many of you have been out on the doorstep over the last few months, talking to people and showing them what we are achieving both nationally and locally.

You will already have your big messages in place. Number one has got …

Posted in Local government | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

LDVideo: Jo Swinson’s Political Slot: The Liberal Democrats are in government on your side

Posted in Lib Dem TV and News | Also tagged , , , and | 6 Comments

Labour’s new approach to education: ‘Evidence, evidence, evidence’. What can the Lib Dems learn from this?

I’m going to do something now I haven’t had cause to do in a good few months: praise a Labour policy. Here’s why.

On Tuesday night, I went along to listen to Stephen Twigg, Labour’s shadow education secretary, deliver a speech to a ProgressOnline debate on raising standards in education. (The event was in parliament’s Grimond Room, so I felt reasonably at home.) The theme was ‘Evidence, not dogma’, and Mr Twigg stayed true to the spirit of it, announcing a heavily-trailed proposal that Labour will establish an Office for Educational Improvement. You can read his speech here, and …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 20 Comments

LibLink: Mr Clegg Goes to Peterbrook

We’ve not often LibLinked through to the ‘Breaking News’ section of Peterbrook Primary School’s website. In fact we never have before. But their report of Nick Clegg’s visit, alongside local Solihull MP Lorely Burt, deserves a wide audience, and here’s a snippet:

Together with Solihull M.P Lorely Burt and an entourage of press and media broadcasters, Mr. Clegg came from London to see us so that we could share with him our curriculum developments using ‘Pupil Premium’ funding to support the learning and personal development needs of all pupils, with a specific focus at times, on those pupils who are eligible

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Ian Swales MP writes: 12 CUTS Labour don’t talk about

The Labour party think they can win the economic argument by just wailing about cuts on behalf of their public sector union paymasters. They give no credible alternatives for what they would do about Britain’s economic crisis.

What they also like to ignore is some of the changes that are being made towards making this country fairer. Here is a list of cuts WE should be talking about because they are mostly happening through Lib Dem action and pressure.

  • The CUT from £250,000 to £50,000 in the maximum annual pension contribution to receive tax relief – clawing back a staggering £4,000,000,000 (£4bn) that Labour was giving to the rich.
  • The

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 55 Comments

Tim Farron’s Christmas message

Well that was quite a year, wasn’t it? It was a good one too!

I know, I know, after the referendum and the horrible results in May you’d be forgiven for believing we were sinking faster than Blackburn Rovers (how it pains me to write that), but you know what, it’s not true.

This year we did some amazing things, things you and I have wanted to do for years but never had the power to actually get done.

For one, we put an end to the horrific practice of locking up innocent kids behind bars for months on end in immigration …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 10 Comments

Nick Clegg responds as more Labour councillors deride extra money for poor pupils

Following Manchester Labour’s extraordinary attack on the pupil premium – describing the policy as a “sham” – news reaches The Voice via Lib Dem councillor Steve Beasant that a Labour cabinet member on North East Lincolnshire Council has joined his Manchester colleagues in their criticism.

As Paul Walter reported earlier, Nick Clegg was asked about the comments of Manchester’s Labour councillors at Tuesday’s Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions by Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames. Here’s the full exchange:

Duncan Hames (Chippenham) (LD): Wiltshire schools have long felt short-changed by funding allocations for education, so they will welcome the doubling of pupil

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 11 Comments

LibLink: In defence of the Lib Dems

Yours truly has a post on the New Statesman rolling blog The Staggers, responding to Mehdi Hasan’s rather provocative question, “What’s the point of the Liberal Democrats?”

Hasan pointed out five areas in which the Lib Dems had (in his view) “sacrificed their distinctive beliefs and principles and received little in return.”

I responded with my own 5 points, including:

1) Ask the nearly 1 million low-paid workers who have been lifted out of paying income tax altogether thanks to a Lib Dem manifesto commitment delivered in government. With the prospect of further significant reforms to come to make

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: One year on from Tuition Fees: why I’m still a Liberal Democrat

It’s one year on from the vote on Tuition Fees, so I thought I would lay out some reasons why I, as a student, am still a Liberal Democrat after our great ‘betrayal’.

Although our ministers are having to make tough choices, Liberal Democrats have won a major victory – having a tax cut for the low paid, rather than the very rich, as the Tories would have preferred. Raising the income tax threshold to £10,000 is a good way to correct the disaster Gordon Brown created when he scrapped the 10p tax band. Plus it is a tax cut …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 25 Comments

Extra £11million funding for disadvantaged pupils is a “sham”, says Manchester Labour Party

There’s rather bizarre news from Manchester, where the Council’s ruling Labour group has passed a motion declaring the pupil premium a “sham” and calling for the policy to be scrapped.

The pupil premium – which was a key Lib Dem policy at the last election – has meant a funding boost of almost £11million for Manchester’s schools this year (rising to £20million next year), with the money targeted specifically at pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

As Lib Dem councillor for Gorton North, Jackie Pearcey, says:

I know that in Gorton and Abbey Hey, this money is making a real difference to

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 23 Comments

What does the public think about income inequality?

Here, courtesy of the latest British Social Attitudes survey (published last year) is the answer:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Kirsty Williams writes… The Welsh Pupil Premium

Last week I announced that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will be voting with the Welsh Labour government for the budget on the 6th December.

We have agreed to support the 2012-2013 budget on the basis that we will be introducing a Welsh Pupil Premium.  This means that from April 2012, every child in Wales on free schools meals will recieve an extra £450 of funding – no matter where they live, or what school they go to.  This is a total Pupil Premium spending of £32 million, of which £20 million is brand new money for the education budget.

Some …

Posted in Op-eds and Wales | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Pupil Premium comes to Wales

The Welsh Liberal Democrats report:

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has welcomed the budget deal between Labour and the Liberal Democrats that will deliver an extra £450 directly to local schools for each child on free school meals.

The total package will mean that schools in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend will have an extra £5.8 million to spend from May next year, targeted on the poorest children, who are already under-achieving. This breaks down as £2.57m for Swansea, £1.53m for Bridgend and £1.71m for Neath Port Talbot.

Commenting on the outcome of the

Posted in News and Wales | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

The Independent View: Coalition’s social mobility strategy failing

The government’s plan to improve social mobility has been dealt a series of blows over the past week. New education data show that trends towards a more ‘socially mobile’ Britain are pointing in the wrong direction.

Nick Clegg launched the government’s social mobility strategy last April, promising to ‘open the doors of opportunity’ to children from disadvantaged homes as they move into adulthood. Children from poor homes are half as likely to achieve five good GCSEs as their better off peers, and they account for less than one in a hundred Oxbridge students. Clegg rightly pointed out that …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

Opinion: Summer schools? Little more than a sticking plaster

Nick Clegg’s conference announcement of £50m to fund summer schools for the disadvantaged caught the headlines (even in the Daily Mail!), and received some support in editorials and from some Lib Dem bloggers. However, though it might be a crowd pleaser and a nice idea, in truth it’s little more than a sticking plaster for deeper problems.

Would I have them rather than nothing at all? Possibly, but I’d rather the money stayed in the Pupil Premium where it is at least targeted through mechanisms (schools) that are already set up to identify and address students needs. Perhaps even

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Sarah Teather MP writes: Pupil Premium – coming to a school near you

Usually it’s quite hard explaining how being a Liberal Democrat Minister in government makes a difference to the people in my constituency. But the Pupil Premium is an exception to that rule. It is a policy with two key characteristics – it has an identifiable impact in every local area, and it’s distinctively Liberal Democrat.

Today the Government released the final Pupil Premium figures for English schools. In the financial year 2011-12 schools are receiving £488 for each child on free school meals they have on their roll.

Anyone can visit the DfE website and search for their local …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Poverty and achievement: breaking the link – Sarah Teather’s speech to conference

Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Children and Families, gave this speech yesterday to Liberal Democrat conference:

“Education… beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.“

The quote is from HoraceMann, the great 19th century American reformer. But it speaks to the instincts of liberals here with as much resonance as then.

The scandal is that though it should be true, it isn’t.

You will hear many people talk this week about the shocking state of the nation’s finances that was Labour’s legacy. I want to talk about another …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Kirsty Williams AM writes: Getting down to business in Wales

The long running saga of the ‘Welsh Lib Dem two’ has now been resolved but not without some pain. While Aled Roberts was able to re-take his seat as an Assembly Member, it was clear in the National Assembly that John Dixon did not have the same support.

I would like to pay tribute to John Dixon. He has served the public diligently and with distinction on Cardiff Council. He would have been an enormously effective and hard working Assembly Member. He has paid a very high price and I would like to pay tribute to him for the dignity with which he has handled the situation over the past two months.

Aled Roberts too has had a difficult couple of months but he is now back in the Assembly where he belongs and we have wasted no time in getting down to business and I have been able to announce the team that will hold the government to account.

Posted in Wales | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Nick Clegg’s delivery diary

Nick Clegg’s article in the Indy today is a spare, evidential piece, as neatly sliced and lacking in rhetoric as an appointment diary.

But what a diary. Flip back a year, and Gordon was driving to the Palace to call the General Election, as the Liberal Democrats prepared to launch their manifesto.

Now, Nick writes,

…something is happening that, for the Liberal Democrats, is a new experience: the policies we championed during the election are becoming reality. I don’t mean that consultations are being announced, votes held, or papers published. Over the next few days, lives will be changed for

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

LibLink… Danny Alexander: We are on course to deliver all four of our manifesto priorities

Four key Lib Dem manifesto commitmentsAt the start of Budget week, Danny Alexander writes at Comment is Free that the coalition government is about more than balancing the books, but about enacting reform with a foundation of economic recovery.

He returns to the commander’s intent of the Liberal Democrat General Election manifesto, restating its four key policies –

  • Fair taxes that put money back in your pocket
  • A fair chance for every child
  • A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener
  • A fair deal for you from

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | 16 Comments

John Howson’s review of education policy

As we approach the end of the first year of coalition government it is worth assessing the balance sheet in respect of education. Can we as Liberal Democrats be pleased or dismayed at what has happened in education?

The two obvious big events provide contrasting pictures. On the one hand there has been the tuition fees debacle, and on the other, the Pupil Premium success. But, there has been much more to consider; new forms of academies; additional schools; changes to the ways schools are funded; abolition of EMAs; and of Quangos such as the GTCE and TDA; provision for deprived …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 12 Comments

Opinion: what Ed Miliband should put on his blank sheet of paper – part 2

Ed Miliband has invited Lib Dems to make suggestions for his 2015 manifesto. Though I’m suspicious of his motives, and I’m a supporter of Nick Clegg and the coalition, I think we should respond to this invitation with a public discussion of what Liberal Democrat policies should be from 2015.

If he takes up the suggestions, so much the better. If not, public discussion of Liberal Democrat ideas is always a good idea.

In part 1, I’ve already made suggestions on the economy, the deficit, and on local government finance. Part 2 covers other policy areas.

Reducing the poverty trap

Income tax is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 16 Comments

The IFS’s verdict on the Pupil Premium

At the start of this week details of the Pupil Premium to help the education of the most disadvantaged children were published. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has now run its eye over those details and come up with its verdict:

Pupil premium: simple and transparent financial incentive

The Government’s chosen pupil premium is simple, amounting to £430 per pupil eligible for free school meals no matter which local authority children live in. The Government originally proposed a pupil premium that would have varied in generosity across local authorities, been relatively complex to understand, and gone against the Government’s stated

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

Dan Rogerson MP writes: the Pupil Premium is launched

Yesterday the Government announced the details of the brand new Pupil Premium which will make available £2.5 billion a year to children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds by the end of this Parliament. In doing so the coalition is delivering one of the key Liberal Democrat manifesto policies.
Schools will now be able to work out exactly what they will be receiving from next April and how they will be able to use this to help their most disadvantaged children.

I have three young children and care passionately about fostering children’s potential early on. I know that there has been …

Posted in Parliament | 7 Comments

Delivering a fair start for every child‏ – Sarah Teather on new Schools White Paper

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Opinion: “The Importance of Teaching” White Paper – putting Lib Dem policy into action?

After a year’s work in the run up to the General Election co-writing the Liberal Democrats’ Equity and Excellence education policy paper with other members of the 5-19 Education Policy Working Group, I opened the Coalition Government’s first education White Paper with understandable trepidation.

Nothing can be more important than giving every child a fair start in life, but the education system inherited from Labour offered some young people pretty much the best education system anywhere in the world, while leaving others ill-equipped, under-funded, and lacking the skills needed to get on in life.

The White Paper launched by the government today, called The Importance of Teaching takes as its starting point the unflattering international comparisons of the performance and skills of our pupils. Its critique of where and why the school system is underperforming is one that will be very familiar to most Liberal Democrats. It is a vision for a system based on excellence, underpinned by freedom and fairness: an education system which challenges low aspiration and achievement and where school-level innovation and diversity are seen as strengths to be welcomed.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 29 Comments

Opinion: A good news story – and a clear justification for the Pupil Premium

Why are ministers turning stories into bad news? Perhaps the ‘age of austerity’ has addled their brains or are they are still operating in ‘opposition mode’. Nick Gibbs’s announcement of the Key State 1 results is a case in point.

Now I know Nick Gibbs has an agenda to mandate synthetic phonics as the only way to teach reading – see the DfE Business Plan – and the contradiction between that level of prescription and ‘freeing up the curriculum’ is but one part of the muddle that is policy-making within Sanctuary Buildings at present.

But, that’s not the story here.

Rather there …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

LibLink: David Laws – Why I’m proud of the pupil premium

Over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free, David Laws writes of the importance of delivering the Pupil Premium – a key Liberal Democrat election pledge.

He corrects two misconceptions. First, that the pupil premium is not additional money:

This is nonsense. Without the pupil premium, I suspect that the budget for schools would have been based on a per pupil cash freeze for the period up to 2015. That would have meant a real cut in schools funding over the next few years. Instead, schools funding will rise by 0.1% (above inflation) each year until 2015.

The second misconception:

It would, however, be

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 34 Comments
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