EASTBOURNE schools are celebrating an extra £1 million in funding thanks to a coalition government scheme.
The Pupil Premium scheme has seen infant, junior, primary and secondary schools across the town and the surrounding areas receiving thousands in extra cash based on the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The highest cash windfalls have been handed to Shinewater Primary School, which received more than £76,000, Eastbourne Academy which was given £96,000, and Ocklynge Junior School which received £42,000.
The handout is based on the figures that for every child receiving free school meals, the school nets an extra £468 to spend as it sees fit. Just 27 per cent of pupils on free school meals get five good GCSE grades compared with 54 per cent of non-free school meal pupils. The extra funding is aimed at helping tackle the inequality and enable schools to provide the extra support they need to reach their full potential.
News of the extra cash comes after ministers recently announced that the total funding available for the Pupil Premium in 2012-13 will rise to £1.25bn, double the amount in 2011-12. It will rise again each year until 2014-15 when it will be worth £2.5bn.
Stephen Lloyd MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon said he was delighted that schools in Eastbourne and Willingdon are receiving the additional funding.
He said, “In addition, schools will be free to decide how best to target these additional resources which will be allocated to schools across Eastbourne and Willingdon.
“These resources are a direct result of pressure from Liberal Democrats MPs. Supporting children in their early years is a key flagship of Liberal Democrat policy. Like Shinewater Primary school, our schools across Eastbourne and Willingdon are recognised as providing an excellent education, but this additional money will make a real difference for all our local schools.”
Shinewater headteacher John Greenwood said, “This is a positive initiative which will mean we can direct further help towards those children who are most in need, and will help to raise the achievement and aspirations of all the children.”