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Welsh Liberal Democrats delighted as key 2011 manifesto Pupil Premium pledge is launched

June 6, 2012 11:04 AM

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has today welcomed the announcement of a major new funding boost for the least well off pupils in Wales.

The new £32.4 million a year Pupil Premium (aka pupil deprivation grant) will provide practical action to help reduce the impact of poverty on educational attainment. 100% of the funding goes directly to school budgets.

The Pupil Premium (aka pupil deprivation grant) was a key National Assembly manifesto pledge of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and funding for the pupil premium (aka pupil deprivation grant) was achieved in the budget negotiation between the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Welsh Government.

Each school will receive an allocation according to the number of pupils aged between 5 and 15 who are eligible for free school meals which will equate to an additional £450 per eligible pupil. Schools have the flexibility on how to spend the extra pupil premium funding

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"I am delighted that the Welsh Government has announced the details of the Welsh Liberal Democrats' key election pledge in 2011. When money is tight, you have to be really clear about what your priorities are. Our priority as Welsh Liberal Democrats has always been to make sure that the most disadvantaged children in this country get the help they need.

"Let's be clear, this investment wouldn't have happened were it not for Welsh Liberal Democrat insistence during the budget talks.

"Investment in our education system is the best way to break the cycle of poverty, poor health and a weak economy. We ensured that education was treated with the respect and priority it deserves during the budget negotiations with the Welsh Government.

"During the budget negotiations, it would have been easier politically to walk away, but the Welsh Liberal Democrats have instead worked with our political opponents to agree a budget for the good of Wales. We are proud that our influence will make a difference to children in Wales and provide a welcome boost to the economic recovery"

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister said:

"I am very proud that Kirsty and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have managed to convince the Welsh Government to allocate more money to children from poorer backgrounds.

"This is a key Liberal Democrat policy that went straight from the front page of our manifesto to the Coalition Agreement and I am delighted to see governments in Westminster, and now Cardiff, targeting additional money at children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"The pupil premium will begin to break the link, school by school, community by community, between poverty and attainment that has dogged our education system for so long."