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Surrey Liberal Democrats Welcome the Pupil Premium

August 11, 2010 7:00 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems
County Councillor Diana Smith (Knaphill)

Liberal Democrat Education Spokeswoman on Surrey County Council Councillor Diana Smith welcomed the Pupil Premium

The Coalition Government has announced a Pupil Premium to target extra money at schools taking disadvantaged pupils. The proposed Pupil Premium would provide additional per pupil funding on top of the existing funding provided to schools. Schools will be free to spend the additional funding as they choose to raise the achievement of disadvantage pupils. This was a key manifesto commitment and one that Nick Clegg made clear was one of his absolute priorities.

Liberal Democrat Education Spokeswoman on Surrey County Council, Cllr Diana Smith, said: "The Pupil Premium is good news for schools. It is designed to let state schools support all pupils in the way that they think best. This could be by reducing class sizes or providing more one-to-one tuition and catch-up classes. Most money will go to the schools where the pupils have the greatest need. Here in Surrey, it will help schools tackle inequalities that persist even in a relatively prosperous County, giving extra support for the schools whose children need it most if they are to succeed."

Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather, Minister for Children & Families, who championed the Pupil Premium three years ago at the Lib Dem Conference, said: "I never dared imagine a time when I would be unveiling it as Government policy and then actually implementing it. But this week, the Coalition Government announced that a Pupil Premium, funded from outside the schools budget, will be introduced next September. This is a real Liberal Democrat achievement. It was the centrepiece of our education policy during the election campaign, and it is now being implemented in Government. While the Conservatives had a similar policy, it was the Liberal Democrats who pushed for it to be funded from outside the schools budget, and for it to feature specifically in the coalition agreement."