£10,000 Pupil Premium Award For Competitive Schools

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a new reward scheme for schools. The scheme would give schools that find the most effective ways to help children from poor backgrounds the chance to win £10,000.

The awards will be given to 50 schools that make best use of the "pupil premium", a £600 payment given for each child who receives free school meals.

The BBC have quoted Mr Clegg as saying this would provide them with the "head-start in life that they deserve".

But critics say the money is being used to plug holes in schools' budgets.

The pupil premium - affecting 1.8 million children - will cost a total of £2.5bn a year by 2015.

Mr Clegg told BBC Breakfast: "This is a very big change to the pupil premium. It's money that's being given to schools and teachers.

"They are then entirely free to use that money as they see fit to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds to get a head-start in life that they deserve."

But Labour and head teachers argue that the money is being used to plug gaps caused by cuts.

Earlier this month more than 80% of 2,000 head teachers in a survey National Association of Head Teachers survey said funding gaps had absorbed the money.


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