Education Minister Kirsty Williams has announced an additional £3.4m to extend the Pupil Development Grant (PDG) – Access, providing support to an additional 14,000 learners.
Introduced in 2018, PDG-Access helps 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. It is funding that goes directly to the families who need it most to help with some of the costs of the school day.
The additional investment means that eligible families of Year 7 pupils will receive £200, instead of the current £125; relieving some of the increased costs associated with starting secondary school.
The funding will also allow the inclusion of eligible learners in Year 3 and Year 10, and provide funding for looked after children (LAC) in every compulsory school year.
This means the funding will extend to a much wider cohort of learners, ensuring more parents are able to access the support they need when they need it.
Local authorities will also administer a fund to develop more sustainable long term options. We are extending this beyond the classroom to include groups such as youth clubs, to bid for kit stores.
Extending the PDG was a key part of the progressive agreement between the First Minister and Kirsty Williams.
Making the announcement, Kirsty Williams said:
“Breaking the cycle of poverty and disadvantage is paramount, and at the heart of our national mission to raise standards for all our learners.
“The additional money announced today will mean that more learners will be eligible for funding, and more money will be available for parents of children transitioning from primary to secondary, which as we all know can be an expensive time”
“The Pupil Development Grant has already been described as “invaluable” by schools, and PDG – Access allows us to go that step further in supporting our disadvantaged learners to reach their full potential and help discover their true aspirations.”