Over �13,000 extra funding for disadvantaged pupils in Newham

Over 20,000 pupils in Newham are set to benefit next year from extra government funding to help disadvantaged children.

The Pupil Premium is a financial boost for London school pupils from deprived backgrounds and eligibility has been extended to include children registered for Free School Meals in the past six years.

The Department of Education valued the Premium as worth �600 a year per disadvantaged pupil, �112 more than received now, and schools will decide how to spend the money.

In Newham, 22,730 children are eligible for the Pupil Premium which is worth �13,640 in total.

In the capital, up to �50 million has been allocated to support Summer Schools to help pupils make the transition from primary school to secondary education but the rest can be spent on anything from additional tuition to improving IT resources.

London MEP Sarah Ludford supports the Department of Education’s announcement.

She said: “For too long, social background has been a deciding factor in a child’s chances for the future.

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“Children who have been eligible for Free School Meals at any point in their school career have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible. Of students gaining three As at A-level in 2008, 30 per cent were privately educated, whereas only 0.5 per cent were eligible for Free School Meals.”

Ms Ludford added: “No child born in London in the 21st century should have their fate decided by their family’s wage packet. This money will go towards making our education system more equitable.”