More funding on offer for town schools

SCHOOLS in Morpeth will benefit from more than £100,000 in extra payments through the Pupil Premium scheme.

The initiative, announced by Children and Families Minister Sarah Teather, amounts to £600 extra funding for every child eligible for free school meals, and from next year the premium will extend to cover any child that has registered for free meals in the past six years.

In Northumberland, almost 10,000 pupils will qualify, increasing school budgets by around £5.7million next year.

Headteachers will be able to use the money as they see fit to improve support to children, particularly those from less well-off families.

In Morpeth this year, the extra funds amount to more than £100,000.

Morpeth Stobhill county councillor Ian Lindley says that in his division alone the sum comes to almost £25,000.

He said: “It is a shocking fact that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are three times less likely to succeed than their better off classmates.

“Education is the best way to end this disgraceful state of affairs through supporting children from early years right through to secondary school.

“I look forward to working with schools and teachers to make the Pupil Premium the success our children deserve it to be.”

Stobhillgate First School Headteacher Neil Richmond added: “This money will be really useful in terms of providing extra learning resources for our children.

“This is just one very important example of the impact this money will have now and in the future. It’s great news and will boost our spending money for essential items.”