Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

Liberal Democrats announce extra money for West Sussex schools – Dr Colin Wilsdon

Dr Colin Wilsdon with Sarah Teather MP and Former teacher Cllr Hazel Thorpe

Dr Colin Wilsdon with Sarah Teather MP and Former teacher Cllr Hazel Thorpe

Liberal Democrat County Councillors have welcomed the announcement of a £4,263,000 pupil premium for West Sussex schools.

The original plans for an extra £430 per pupil have been boosted by £100m, meaning that every school in West Sussex will now get nearly £500 for every child on Free School Meals.

The money is to be used by schools to increase attainment of deprived pupils. Many schools in West Sussex are already making plans to use the money to improve the life chances of pupils from deprived backgrounds.

News of the extra money comes after, Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister; Sarah Teather recently announced that the total Pupil Premium funding for next year will rise to £1.25bn, double the amount in 2011-12. Thanks to Liberal Democrats in Government, it will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn.

Dr Colin Wilsdon, Lib Dem Spokesman for Children and Young People said:

“I welcome the increased funding for schools that Lib Dem influence within the Coalition is bringing.  Not only has Sarah Teather doubled the Pupil Premium funding for 2012/13 but, because of lower numbers of children on Free School Meals than expected funding has increased for this year from £430 to £488 per eligible pupil.  For West Sussex this means much needed additional funds.  Times are tough for our schools but the Pupil Premium means that extra money is being focussed on our most needy children”

“It is shocking that, nationally, pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to achieve five good GSCEs than their more well-off classmates.

“That is why Liberal Democrats nationally have ensured that there is extra money to finally reverse this worrying trend that was allowed to continue under the previous government.

“Locally we have been working to ensure that West Sussex pupils benefit as much as possible from this extra money by driving up the number of pupils registered for the premium, and we would encourage any parents of eligible children to sign up for free school meals to get more money for their child’s school in the next round of pupil premium. We now look forward to working with our schools to help overcome the barriers to achievement that some of the pupils in our community currently face.” 

Notes:

  1. The Pupil Premium is one of the four key commitments the Liberal Democrats fought the 2010 General Election on and featured on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifest
  2. It is designed to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and is allocated on the basis of pupils on Free School Meals to schools, which they can spend as they believe best supports children from disadvantaged backgrounds in their schools. Children who have been looked after by local authorities for more than six months also qualify for the Pupil Premium
  3. The funding has increased from initial estimates of £430 per pupil to £488 per pupil as a lower than expected number of pupils had registered for Free School Meals. As this meant not all of the £625m available in 2011-12 had so far been allocated, it was used to increase the per-pupil funding. 

A spreadsheet with a breakdown of the figures by West Sussex constituency including individual Schools is available on request.

Numbers of West Sussex residents with no qualifications between the ages of 16-64

Breakdown by constituency

Mid Sussex 2,500 4.2%                                            

Worthing West 3,000 5.5%

Horsham 3,600 5.9%

Arundel & South Downs 4,200 7.5%

East Worthing & Shoreham 4,900 8.4%

Crawley 6,500 9%

Chichester 6,600 10.6%

Bognor Regis & Littlehampton 8,100 13.5%