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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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£11m for neediest in Cumbria's schools

More than £11m is on its way to Cumbria through a scheme designed to help more children achieve more at school.

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Tim Farron: ‘The money is making a real difference’

The money will be invested in the county through the Government’s Pupil Premium scheme.

It targets extra money to schools depending on the number of pupils they have from disadvantaged backgrounds.

An estimated 12,720 pupils are eligible for the extra funding in the county.

That figure equates to just over £11.3m.

Money is given to schools to help boost attainment, based on the number of pupils registered for free school meals.

The scheme’s supporters include Carlisle MP John Stevenson, who has urged people in his constituency to register for meals to ensure their schools get the support needed.

It is estimated that in Penrith and the Border next year, 1,390 pupils are eligible for the grant, meaning the constituency – which stretches from Alston to Longtown – will receive £1.2m.

Last year, Cumbria received £7.1m to support 11,922 pupils.

Among the big winners financially were Carlisle’s Richard Rose Central Academy, where 353 pupils’ entitlement brought £211,500. At Trinity in the city, £132,900 was received on the back of 222 pupils’ eligibility. West Lakes Academy in Egremont received £127,800, while Thomlinson Junior School in Wigton got £38,400.

Another Cumbrian MP, Tim Farron, also backs the scheme.

He said: “The pupil premium is a policy that is making a real difference in schools through Cumbria.

“Having spoken to teachers, I know that the money is making a real difference to the lives of young people.

“For too long, social background has been a deciding factor in a child’s chances for the future. This money does not just help the poorest children, it helps every child. Fewer children falling behind means a better education for everyone.”

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