Cash for deprived pupils is welcomed

Former Great British Bake Off contestant Enwezor Nzegwu pictured at last year's cooking show.

Picture: Sarah Standing (161630-8733) PPP-160912-203331001

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SCHOOLS across the area are set to get millions of pounds to support their most disadvantaged pupils through a ‘pupil premium’ worth £488 per child.

Portsmouth will get £2.74m, Hampshire £9.51m and West Sussex £4,26m from the Department for Education for the current academic year.

Children who qualify for the pupil premium are eligible for free school meals (FSM), meaning they have a family income of less than £16,190.

Siskin Infants and nursery in Gosport has the highest proportion of FSMs (54.1 per cent) in Hampshire and will receive £25,625 this year.

Head Rose Smith said the money would fund a one-to-one reading scheme which has helped raise literacy levels.

She added: ‘I welcome the pupil premium in this area of high deprivation. It will enable us to do things to improve the life chances of our children.’

Just 27 per cent of pupils on FSM get five good GCSE grades compared with 54 per cent of non-free school meals pupils.

A funding premium for children of service families remains at £200 per pupil this year.