The amount of money spent on the youngest disadvantaged pupils is set to double and there will be a £20m boost to improve school standards, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said today.
The Education revenue budget for 2017-18 has increased by £50.9m, a 3.5% rise when compared on a like for like basis to the 2016-17 budget.
Over the Assembly term £100m will be invested to raise school standards.
The spending plans support the Education Secretary’s plans to make sure all young people have an equal opportunity to reach the highest standards.
- Investing more than £90m in the Pupil Deprivation Grant, including doubling the support we provide disadvantaged pupils aged three and four. This will mean funding to support those eligible will jump from £300 to £600 for the youngest learners eligible, this could benefit some 15,000 pupils.
- £20m to raise school standards. This is part of £100m being invested over this Assembly term on this issue.
- £30m to support the priorities within further and higher education.
- Investing £15m to meet the pressures of maintaining the current student support package before the implementation of the changes recommended in the Diamond review.
- More than £500m as part of our £2billion 21st Century school programme.
Kirsty Williams said:
“Despite the tough financial climate, this budget shows our commitment to reforming our education system and raising standards.
“We are determined to break the attainment gap between those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers. That is why we are putting more money into the Pupil Deprivation Grant, which the latest figures show is making a real difference.
“We are investing extra money into raising standards in all our schools and continuing to refurbish and build new schools across the country. Education reform is our national mission. Working together we will ensure that our young people have an equal opportunity to reach the highest standards.”