The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed the third-year evaluation report from Ipsos Mori and WISERD on the Pupil Development Grant highlighting the success of the grant in reducing the attainment gap.
The report found that PDG funding is invaluable to schools and has resulted in a number of positive and promising effects over time. This includes focusing schools’ attention on tackling disadvantage across the school and improving the tracking of learners who qualify for free school meals.
In opposition in the last Assembly, the Welsh Liberal Democrats secured the establishment of the grant which has led to over £200m investment. Since then, in government, Kirsty Williams has doubled the support for nursery and reception children which will increase from £300 per pupil to £600.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:
“The Pupil Development Grant is one of my party’s proudest achievements. This report shows the PDG is reducing the attainment gap, increasing the willingness of learners to participate in classroom activities and improving pupil confidence, wellbeing and self-esteem.
"Liberal Democrats know that investing in our schools and giving our children the best possible start in life and every opportunity to succeed is one of the best ways of breaking the link between poverty and attainment, and that belief will always remain at the core of our approach to tackling poverty and inequality in Wales.
“This report is yet more evidence of the transformational impact Kirsty Williams and the Welsh Liberal Democrats are having on Welsh education and the life chances of every child. We will always prioritise the most disadvantaged pupils and will continue to fight to secure opportunity for every child in Wales.”