Multi-million pound scheme for Merton and Wandsworth schools


Wandsworth and Merton schools will receive more than £5.3million from a new government funding scheme.


By Thomas Duffell

Schools in Wandsworth and Merton will receive more than £5.3million from a new government funding scheme.

The Pupil Premium will provide additional funding for deprived children currently eligible for free school meals and those in care for more than six months.

The government believes it is the best way to help disadvantaged pupils.

Education Minister Sarah Teather said: “It is a milestone in breaking the link between poverty and achievement, tackling Labour’s shocking legacy where the richest 16-year olds are three times as likely to get five good GCSEs as the poorest.”

Each school’s head teacher will allocate funds as they see fit, whether it be to extra one-to-one classes, breakfast clubs or after school groups.

Lisa Smart, Elliott School Governor and Liberal Democrat campaigner said: “The head teacher and staff know the best way to spend the money for the advantage of the children who need it the most.”

However, they will be held accountable for how it is spent. From September 2012 schools will be required to publish information about how they have used the premium.

This will ensure that parents and others are made aware of the progress of pupils covered by the premium.

Anthony Fairclough, Merton Borough Liberal Democrats, said 3,850 of the least well-off pupils will benefit from local schools being given an extra £1,875,000 this year.

Every school will receive an extra £488 for each child, and Wimbledon is getting an extra £657,000 to improve education for their most disadvantaged children. 

Mr Fairclough said: “Making it a reality will help improve social mobility and life chances of hundreds of thousands of children from less privileged backgrounds.”

The funding was central to the Liberal Democrats coalition negotiations and Ms Smart said: “We are absolutely delighted and we are immensely proud of it.”

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