£100m extra for summer school funding

 

The Government has announced £100 million of extra funding to pay for summer schools for disadvantaged youngsters.

In the first keynote speech of the Liberal Democrat conference, Education Minister David Laws also confirmed the Government will increase the pupil premium for children from poorer backgrounds to £900.

The summer school funding will pay to help pupils cope with the transition between primary and secondary schools and will fund the programme until 2014.

Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced an initial £50 million for the project, and Mr Laws said it had been a major success.

Mr Laws said: "All too often pupils who have made big progress through the school year fall behind over the long summer holiday, particularly if they are changing schools.

"Over 2,000 secondary schools took part in that programme this summer and the feedback we received was fantastic, so I am announcing today that we are allocating a further £100 million to continue this project in 2013 and 2014."

In his first Liberal Democrat party conference speech after making a frontbench comeback in the reshuffle, two years after being forced out over the misuse of taxpayer-funded expenses, Mr Laws hailed the success of the pupil premium scheme.

Next year's rise to £900 - up from £619 per pupil this year - will see £1.8 billion allocated to the premium with the Government on track to allocate £2.5 billion a year in 2014/15, or around £1,200 per pupil.

This meets a pledge included in the general election manifesto, and Mr Laws said it was an indication the party was able to deliver its policies in government.

In the build-up to the conference, Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg issued a video apology for breaking a pre-election pledge to oppose any rise in tuition fees.

As the party sought to draw a line under the issue, Mr Laws said: "People have complained, and rightly, about what happened over tuition fees. And we in the parliamentary party have rightly apologised. But let us not forget the pledges we are delivering.

"Not just our £2.5 billion Pupil Premium. The £10,000 tax free allowance. The Green Deal. Restoring the link between pensions and earnings. We do have a record of action and delivery in government.

"We should shout about it. We should build on it. We should be very, very proud of it."

Under the pupil premium scheme, schools get extra cash for every child registered as eligible for free school meals (FSM) and children in care.

Mr Laws called for parents, teachers and governors to monitor the way schools were using the pupil premium money to ensure it was delivering results.

"You cannot micro-manage 25,000 schools from Whitehall. It would undermine innovation and undermine the informed decisions of heads and teachers," he said.

"But I will hold schools to account. They must use the pupil premium money to help disadvantaged pupils to catch up. And you can help make this happen."

Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted's chief inspector, said there was real concern that funds were being used simply to "plug the gap" in school budgets as more than half of schools surveyed said it was making "little or no difference".

Sir Michael said the watchdog had been surprised by the survey results. Only 10% of schools surveyed said it was having a "significant" effect, all of which were in the most deprived areas.

The DfE said latest statistics show that in 2011, 35% of pupils on free school meals achieved five good GCSE grades, compared with 62% of other pupils, while 58% of pupils on free school meals achieved the expected level in both English and maths by the end of primary school, compared with 78% of other pupils.

It said while schools have freedom to use the funding in innovative ways, they should use it to boost results for the most disadvantaged pupils and will be held to account by Ofsted.

Mr Laws said: "Let me be clear that while I do not wish to be heavy handed with schools, the pupil premium has to deliver, for the sake of individual children and the country as a whole."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015