Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats have welcomed the allocation of an extra £8.5m for Hertfordshire’s schools via the Pupil Premium.

The original plans for an extra £430 per pupil have been boosted by £100m, meaning that every school in Hertfordshire will now get nearly £500 for every child on Free School Meals.

Schools across Hertfordshire are already planning more support for their disadvantaged pupils.

Liberal Democrat Children’s Minister, Sarah Teather, recently announced that the total Pupil Premium funding for next year will rise to £1.25bn, double the amount in 2011-12.

Thanks to the Liberal Democrats in government, the money allocated to the pupil premium will rise again each year until 2014-15, when it will be worth £2.5bn.

Cllr Mark Watkin, Herts Lib Dem Group spokesperson for Education and Skills, said:

It is a sad fact that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds often start from a lower position than their more well-off classmates and if not addressed this gap grows over time.

That is why the Liberal Democrats have ensured that there is extra money to reverse this tragic trend that continued unchecked under the previous Labour government.

Locally, we have been working to ensure that Hertfordshire’s pupils benefit as much as possible from this extra money by ensuring it is spent on what it is intended. We will continue working with our schools to help overcome the barriers to achievement that many of the pupils in our community still face.