Changes to how the money used to support the most disadvantaged pupils in Wales will benefit those in nursery and reception and children in local authority care.
The Cabinet Secretary has also announced that the Pupil Deprivation Grant will be renamed the Pupil Development Grant (PDG).
The Welsh Government is to invest over £90m through the Pupil Development Grant over the next financial year to help disadvantaged pupils in Welsh schools.
Extending the PDG was a key part of the progressive agreement between the First Minister and Kirsty Williams.
The Education Secretary has revealed significant expansions to the programme, from the amount allocated to the youngest pupils, to extending the funding to pupils not educated at school, to providing more support to children who are looked after by their local authority.
The changes, which come into affect in April, include:
- Doubling the grant to £600 per eligible child in nursery and reception classes.
- Extending support to all three year old looked after children. The funding can also be used to support previously looked after children who have been adopted.
- Extending the support to pupils whose education happens outside a school setting. Currently only those from pupil referral units received the support.
Kirsty Williams said:
“It remains our national mission that every child has the opportunity to succeed.
“I am pleased that this grant is having a significant impact in breaking the link between poverty and attainment that has dogged our education system. However, there is more to do, which is why we are extending the grant to ensure every child has a fair start in life.
“I am also announcing a small but significant change in the name of the grant. Not only does this reflect the excellent practice that already exists across Wales, but this more positive name will better emphasise learner progression alongside reducing the attainment gap.”