Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Nick Clegg: A Deal With Teachers (Guest Post)

For me, nothing better illustrates the Liberal Democrat mission to make Britain a fairer place than our Pupil Premium: extra money for the most disadvantaged children in our schools.

We are letting schools decide the best way to spend this money.  I want to strike a deal with our schools and teachers: we’ll give you the cash, the freedom, and we’ll reward and celebrate your success.  But in return, we want you to redouble your efforts to close the gap between your poorer pupils and everyone else.  We won’t be telling you what to do; but we will be watching what you achieve.

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It is shameful that, despite all the promise on a four or five year old’s first day at school, or the passion of their teachers, you can all too often plot that child’s path just by asking how much their parents earn.

The £2.5billion Pupil Premium was one of the four pledges on the front page of our manifesto.  And now, with Liberal Democrats in government, schools are using the money for things like breakfast clubs; homework clubs; or to provide one-to-one-tuition. These are the sort of experiences many middle class children take for granted but a poorer child might rarely enjoy.
Yesterday I visited a fantastic primary school to see how they are spending their Pupil Premium, highlight our new Summer Schools to ease the transition from primary to secondary, and to set out our plans to reward teachers and hold schools to account.

The Pupil Premium shows that, in tough times, we are implementing Liberal Democrat values and prioritising help for those pupils who need it most.

Best wishes,

Nick Clegg MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister