A key ingredient in the coalition agreement, included at the insistence of the Liberal Democrats, was a Pupil Premium paid to schools and based on the numbers of their pupils who qualify for free school meals. The government announced last week that Luton schools have been allocated £487.55 per qualifying pupil and this gives Luton schools a total of £3,642,000 for the current financial year.
The government will not dictate how the extra funding is spent so long as it is targeted at disadvantaged children. Schools could spend it on extra staff, on one-to-one tuition or whatever they decide will be most effective.
“There is a clear and well established connection between entitlement to free school meals and underachieving,” said Liberal Democrat leader David Franks.
“Now every head teacher in Luton knows how much their school is to receive and can start to plan the best way to invest it in our children’s future.”
“By helping schools to give extra support to the most disadvantaged pupils we will see improved learning opportunities and higher standards for all.”
“The pupil premium, targeted at children from low income families, was a key Liberal Democrat input into the coalition agreement and I am delighted to see this great boost for local schools.”