Weston Mercury: How our schools are spending their Pupil Premium

You know the warm glow when you’ve finished a job and it just works? It doesn’t matter whether it’s mowing the lawn or finishing the month-end accounts at work; it’s done and it’s good.

Well, I got a small dose of that feeling the other day, when I visited Worle School to see how they’re using the new Pupil Premium money which the Government has been dishing out for the last couple of years.

The pupil premium cash – pay attention at the back – is a financial top-up so schools can provide extra help for children from less well-off families, so they can get on with their studies and thrive. It can be anything from helping pay for uniforms or school trips, to extra mentoring to help them cope with stress at home.

And why was I checking up on it? Well, for years I’ve been asking local parents to sign petitions and campaign against an unfair school funding system which gave Weston schools less cash per pupil than those in Bristol. It wasn’t fair, and the Pupil Premium was supposed to level the playing field.

So I was keen to see if it works. And, I’m pleased to say, it really does. The teachers and their assistants were pretty unanimously positive, and then left me with some students who showed me round the school. I wasn’t told whether any of them qualified for pupil premium cash or not but, frankly, you wouldn’t have known either way; they were all equally bright, confident and a pleasure to be around.

So, a warm glow. The funding may not be perfectly fair just yet – it’s a job that’s halfway done, rather than complete – but I’ve seen the future and, at Worle, they’re making it work.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *