David Laws, Liberal Democrat schools minister, said Kent schools will benefit from a new deal brokered by Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister.
The Liberal Democrats were able to negotiate in the coalition for an increase to the Pupil Premium, which gives additional money towards the education of disadvantaged children, and the introduction of free school lunches. Both policies are being implemented by David Laws.
“This will really help children in Kent get on in life. It is an important step to help us build a stronger economy and a fairer society,” Laws told an audience in Headcorn.
The Pupil Premium allocation for 2013-2014 (this school year) is £47.8 million across 54,200 children for Kent & Medway at £900 for most children.
David Laws announced that the estimated pupil premium for 2014-2015 (next year) will be £60.9 million across a similar number of children. Next year the pupil premium will remain the same for kids in secondary school but rise by a whopping 44% for primary children to £1,300.
Free School Meals are also to be offered to all infant children, i.e. those in Receptions and Years 1 and 2, from next year. There are 59,568 kids currently eligible in Kent and Medway at around £400 for each child. This will now go to all youngsters at a total injection of an additional £23.8 million.
This all amounts to total increase of £132.5 million additional money for Kent schools from now until July 2015. It also amounts to a grand total of £182 million across the whole of this Parliament.