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Delighted at extra funding for Southend children who need it most – Welch

The man who got a little x from myself in a ballot box in May 2010 is happy that the Pupil Premium is going where it is needed locally and sent out the following Press Release this evening that I am (possibly lazily) going to copy and paste in full:

The announcement that Liberal Democrats in government have been able to increase the Pupil Premium has delighted their standard-bearer in Southend West at the last election.

Peter Welch said “Raising the cash that schools receive for educating children from the poorest backgrounds was a key pledge in the General Election. I’m convinced it was one of the reasons we got such a strong result in Southend West. And I am delighted that schools in Southend will be receiving more than £2m through the pupil premium – £488 for every child on free school meals.

“It is my firm belief that we have wasted too much talent in this country. We need to open up jobs and opportunities to everyone, no matter what their back ground. the Pupil Premium is part of the answer.”

In year two of the scheme, every school is guaranteed an extra £488 (last year £430) from the Government for every child on free school meals and every looked-after child.

In Southend-on-Sea this should mean around £2,072,000 in extra cash. In neighbouring areas the impact will also be significant. In Castle Point, for example, schools expect to receive £688,000 in the coming year.

Commenting, Sarah Teather, Children’s Minister said : “it’s a distinctively Liberal Democrat policy. Liberal Democrats designed it, campaigned for it, and made it a priority in the Coalition negotiations. Liberal Democrats in government have found the money to make it happen.”

The Liberal Democrats fought the election on four priority policies: creating Green jobs, introducing the pupil premium, raising income tax thresholds to £10,000, and reforming the political system so that politicians are really held to account.

Massive progress has been made on three of these priorities. The Green Investment Bank has been agreed. Income tax thresholds have been increased. From £6475 at the time of the General Election they will be £8345 from April – a move that means hundreds of thousands of people on modest incomes will no longer need to pay income tax. And the pupil premium will make a big difference to the schools with the kids who need most support. Hopes for a better, more accountable political system were, however, hit by the defeat of the referendum on a fiarer voting system.

Good stuff as always Peter. It is something we have brought to pupils around the country that wasn’t going to happen without us. When people ask ‘What have the Lib Dems done for us?’ then this is something we can proudly point at. This is a start of a journey that hopefully will lead to equality of opportunity for everyone and that is something I think we all wish for.

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