Schools benefit from ‘pupil premium’ windfall
Funding boost to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds
SCHOOLS across North Devon and Torridge can expect a significant increase in funding to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
They will receive an extra �58 for every child eligible for the pupil premium following an announcement by Children’s minister Sarah Teather.
The cash boost takes the total pupil premium per child to �488 for 2011/12.
The extra money for primary and secondary schools has been reallocated after fewer children registered for free school meals than expected this year.
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In Devon, schools will receive a total of just over �5 million. Bideford College is the biggest winner, receiving just under �100,000, the largest increase of any school in the whole of Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Of the school’s 1,368 pupils, 202 or 14.8 per cent are eligible for funding.
At Pilton Community College in Barnstaple, 12.7 per cent of pupils are eligible for a share of the �81,008 funding the school has been allocated.
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Ilfracombe Arts College will get �63,928, Great Torrington Community School �44,896 and South Molton Community College �25,376.
Many of the region’s primary schools are set to benefit too, with Yeo Valley Primary in Barnstaple in line for �40,504 funding this year.
Forches Cross, as well as East-the-Water, Pynes, West Croft and St. Mary’s in Bideford, will all receive around �30,000.
Torridge Liberal Democrat leader, Adam Symons, said the Lib Dem-devised policy would help schools to redress imbalance.
“The amount is more than expected and will make an even bigger difference for our children.
“For years I have been saying that Devon’s schools have been underfunded, and now we have the chance to do something about it.
“The evidence shows that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to achieve five good GCSEs than other children.”
Pupil Premium funding for next year will rise to �1.25bn, double the amount in 2011-12. It will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth �2.5bn.