Education Minister doubles funding for disadvantaged learners with £10m package
The Education Minister has doubled funding for disadvantaged learners to create a package worth more than £10m.
Kirsty Williams is extending the Welsh Government programme that provides support to the most disadvantaged learners in Wales.
She announced today that funding for Wales’ Pupil Development Grant Access scheme would be doubled to cover additional years in 2020/2, and that the grant’s terms would be extended to allow the purchasing of laptops and tablets in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding of £10.3m is an increase from £5.1m in 2019/20, which will allow the Welsh Government to extend the scheme to provide support for those in years 1, 5, 8, 9 and 11, at a rate of £125 per learner.
The PDG-Access scheme was introduced in 2018 to help families cover the costs of school uniforms and sports kits, as well as equipment for activities outside of the school, including sports clubs and trips for outdoor learning.
The funding goes directly to the families who need it most to help with some of the costs of the school day.
Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “I believe strongly in the importance of the Pupil Development Grant as it is crucial to delivering the future success of our learners.
“As I have set out in ‘Our National Mission’, I want Wales to have strong and inclusive schools committed to excellence, equity and well-being; a system there to support our most disadvantaged learners.
“We know that the cost of the school day is an important issues to many families in Wales. I am delighted that we have been able to extend the policy to provide support to other year groups and also to allow families to purchase laptops and tablets which will support remote learning in these unprecedented times.”