Almost £500k to aid Spen kids

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SPEN’s schools are set to benefit from nearly £60,000 in extra funding from the government.

Under the government’s Pupil Premium scheme, the money will be used by schools to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

A funding pot of up to £430 per year is available to each child who can claim a free school meal, but that figure has now increased to £488 per child.

Schools across Kirklees will benefit by around £600,000 in total, with the overall Pupil Premium fund standing at £4.9m nationally.

Children’s Minister and Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather announced the changes last month. The increase is available because fewer children than expected received free school meals in England this year. Coun Kath Pinnock, leader of Kirklees Lib Dems, welcomed the announcement.

“It provides resources to the front line of education where it is most needed,” Coun Pinnock said.

“Evidence shows children from low income families generally do not achieve as well as pupils from more advantaged backgrounds.

“As such it is right that we provide extra money to schools on top of the existing school budgets to help and support these children and young people in reaching their potential”.

Cleckheaton schools will see their funding increase to £178,608 – an increase of £21,458 over last year – with Liversedge and Gomersal schools receiving an extra £21,044, taking their funding to £167,384.

Heckmondwike schools will receive £142,008, which is a £17,108 increase over previous years.

In total, £488,000 will be spent on Spen schools next year.

Coun Pinnock added: “Schools across the Spen Valley will certainly benefit from this increase in funding.

“The schools in Heckmondwike, Liversedge, Gomersal and Cleckheaton will receive an extra £59,000 with the total reaching almost half a million.

“This additional money, plus that which will come when they double the Pupil Premium budget next year, means we should be able to do a great deal for disadvantaged young people in the Spen Valley over the coming years.”