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Welsh Government mustn’t allow Welsh pupils to fall behind following increase in Pupil Premium in England

2013 Gorffenaf 17 4:38 PM

Aled Roberts AM has called for increased investment in the Pupil Deprivation Grant after theDeputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced today the biggest ever rise in the Pupil Premium for primary schools in England to help ensure that more pupils are able to achieve higher standards.

The Pupil Premium, which is known as the Pupil Deprivation Grant in Wales, provides schools with extra money to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This will help whole classes move forward faster together.

In England, the Pupil Premium started at £430 per pupil on free school meals. It will now been increased to £1,300 in 2014/15. In Wales, it is currently £450 per eligible pupil.

Aled Roberts, Shadow Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Minister, said:

"All the evidence shows that if your child starts behind in secondary school, they stay behind. That is unacceptable.

"As the funding for the Pupil Premium increases in England, pupils in Wales will be allowed to fall further behind. That is why the Welsh Liberal Democrats continue to call for greater investment into the Pupil Deprivation Grant. We cannot allow the gap in funding between English and Welsh pupils to grow further.

"The Welsh Labour Government introduced the Pupil Deprivation Grant in exchange for the Welsh Liberal Democrats to support their annual budget. This investment wouldn't have happened were it not for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Despite this, the Welsh Government was more than happy to champion the policy as one of their own. If they are so proud of the policy, they should be more than willing to increase the grant to help the pupils of Wales."