Andrew George MP has welcomed the opening of applications for a £50 million two week summer schools programme for disadvantaged children.
Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Nick Clegg MP, announced the fund last September. It is aimed at helping up to 100,000 of the most disadvantaged pupils with the transition from primary to secondary school.
In Mr George’s St Ives constituency nearly 3,000 of the over 10,000 children on school rolls are potentially eligible for this fund.
He said: “For too long, social background has been a deciding factor in a child’s success in life. I believe that in a fair society it is a Government’s responsibility to do all it can to close the gulf in achievement that often exists between the poorest children and their classmates.
“Evidence shows that disadvantaged children can slip further behind as they move into secondary school. That is why the Coalition Government is doing the right thing by helping Heads and Governors to build on their own induction arrangements and give these children an extra hand.
“The Liberal Democrats’ commitment to the most disadvantaged children doesn’t stop there. As well as this £50m fund, the Coalition Government is making significant extra funding available through the Pupil Premium.
“This will help schools tackle the inequalities that have been a part of our schools for far too long. In my constituency that means that this year, disadvantaged children will finally be getting the extra support they need.”
Commenting further, Nick Clegg said: “As any parent knows, the move from primary to secondary school can sometimes be tough. For those who struggle to make the jump, there can be a dip in performance that can last for years.
“We know that those who struggle most are often among the poorest in society, but we also know that just two weeks’ activities and education can help them at this tricky time in their lives.
“Summer schools will give some of the most disadvantaged pupils the chance to swim rather than sink in those first critical weeks of secondary school.
“We want every child to succeed, regardless of their background, and this is a crucial part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to making this happen.”
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