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£100m extra for summer school funding

The Government has announced £100 million of extra funding to pay for summer schools for disadvantaged youngsters.

In the first keynote speech of the Liberal Democrat conference, Education Minister David Laws also confirmed the Government will increase the pupil premium for children from poorer backgrounds to £900.

The summer school funding will pay to help pupils cope with the transition between primary and secondary schools and will fund the programme until 2014. Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced an initial £50 million for the project, and Mr Laws said it had been a major success.

Mr Laws said: "All too often pupils who have made big progress through the school year fall behind over the long summer holiday, particularly if they are changing schools.”

"Over 2,000 secondary schools took part in that programme this summer and the feedback we received was fantastic, so I am announcing today that we are allocating a further £100 million to continue this project in 2013 and 2014."

Next year's rise to £900 - up from £619 per pupil this year - will see £1.8 billion allocated to the premium with the Government on track to allocate £2.5 billion a year in 2014/15, or around £1,200 per pupil.

This meets a pledge included in the general election manifesto, and Mr Laws said it was an indication the party was able to deliver its policies in government.

Under the pupil premium scheme, schools get extra cash for every child registered as eligible for free school meals (FSM) and children in care.

POLL

What should Clegg's pledge to give councils £100m to help with childcare actually be spent on?
Improved facilities
44%
Training
18%
Free childcare
31%
Educational materials
7%
Total votes: 182