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Funding for disadvantaged learners to double in Wales
EB News: 25/02/2021 - 10:35
Wales' Education Minister Kirsty Williams has announced that more than £10m will be made available to extend a programme that provides support to the most disadvantaged learners in Wales.
Funding for Wales’s Pupil Development Grant Access scheme will be doubled to cover additional year groups and will be extended to allow the purchasing of laptops and tablets in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding of £10.3m – an increase from £5.1m in 2019/20 – will allow the Welsh Government to extend the scheme to provide support for those in years 1, 5, 8, 9 and 11, at a rate of £125 per learner.
Introduced in 2018, PDG-Access helps families cover the costs of school uniforms and sports kits, as well as equipment for activities outside of the school, including sports clubs and trips for outdoor learning.
It is funding that goes directly to the families who need it most to help with some of the costs of the school day.
To complement the scheme, the Welsh Government commissioned Children in Wales to produce a set of guides for schools covering key aspects of the cost of the school day. The guides focus on opportunities to change culture in schools around disadvantage and provide strategies for addressing particular challenges around the cost of the school day. The Price of Pupil Poverty guides are available on the Welsh Government website and encourage their use in schools and settings.
In Ipsos MORI’s latest KnowledgePanel poll, the most preferred options for catching up on lost learning from parents are to receive increased wellbeing support (56%) and additional tutoring sessions outside of school hours (55%).