Government pledges more money to benefit disadvantaged Barking and Dagenham pupils

Disadvantaged pupils in Barking and Dagenham will benefit from more financial support after the government announced it would increase its pupil premium to �600 per child.

More youngsters will also be eligible for the premium, which is provided to schools to ensure children from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from the same opportunities as pupils from less deprived families.

Currently Barking and Dagenham schools receive funds for 11,900 pupils.

The money – which will rise from �488 to �600 per child – is only given to pupils who receive free school meals, but once the changes come in to force next year it will cover any child registered for free school meals in the past six years.

The funding goes towards additional tuition, better IT resources and closer work with parents.

Barking and Dagenham Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed the additional funding.

She said: “Of students gaining three As at A-level in 2008, 30 per cent were privately educated, whereas only 0.5 per cent were eligible for Free School Meals.

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“No child should have their fate decided by their family’s wage packet.”