Schools boosted by increase in pupil premium

By Ian Dipple Tuesday 29 January 2013 Updated: 30/01 12:41

SCHOOLS across Worcester are set to benefit from a share of a £4million boost in funding.

The Government has increased the money given to schools for disadvantaged pupils from £600 to £900 from April.

In total the pupil premium will be worth over £12.5million to Worcestershire's schools - an increase of about £4.2million.

According to figures from the Department of Education 3, 016 schoolchildren in Worcester are eligible for the pupil premium, worth more than £2.7million.

Estimates show Tudor Grange Academy would receive over £260,000, more than any other city school while Christopher Whitehead Language College and Nunnery Wood High School could also gain £235,800 and £226,800 respectively.

The final amount each school will receive will not be known until later in the year.

Coun Jane Potter, responsible for education and skills on Worcestershire County Council, said the money was welcome but would not hide the fact the county's schools were among the worst funded in the country.

Worcestershire's schools receive £1,088 per pupil less than those in Birmingham and £482 less than the national average.

"This will provide extra funding for those schools with pupils from deprived backgrounds and will be used to narrow the attainment gap between these pupils and those from more affluent families," she said.

"However it should be recognised despite this good news Worcestershire still receives comparatively low funding levels compared to its neighbouring counties and we will continue to lobby for more funding for schools in Worcestershire."

Her sentiments were echoed by Worcester MP Robin Walker who is set to meet the Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday to press the case for a fairer funding settlement before the next General Election in 2015.

"The pupil premium definitely does make a difference and it is helping pupils across Worcester but there are bigger issues around funding," he added.

"There is still a huge gap in what we are getting in Worcestershire and what schools are getting in Birmingham and I am campaigning to try and close that gap."

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