Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Educational and Welsh Language
With families facing significant cost-of-living increases, we know that household budgets will be under increasing pressure, meaning many families will be worried about how they can afford the things their children need for school.
Today I am pleased to announce that the Pupil Development Grant Access scheme will be raised for one year only by £100 per learner eligible for free school meals. I have raised funding for PDG Access up to over £23 million for 2022/23.
Families in receipt of the PDG Access Grant will already be using it for essential uniform for their children, so this additional payment will mean that they can cover the costs of extra items such as PE kit, school shoes and other equipment, without needing to make tough decisions in their household budget.
This announcement means that for those learners entering year 7, the grant will be worth £300, and for all other year groups the grant will be worth £225 per eligible learner. All families who are eligible for free school meals will be able to submit a claim over the summer for grant funding.
To complement the scheme, the Welsh Government commissioned Children in Wales to produce a set of guides for schools covering key aspects of the cost of the school day. The Price of Pupil Poverty guides are available on the Welsh Government website and encourage their use in schools and settings. This includes practical methods to raise of awareness of poverty and how this affects our learners whilst at school.
Alongside their direct work with schools, Children in Wales have developed short fact sheets outlining simple, practical ways schools can help their learners by alleviating the stigma that surrounds poverty. These fact sheets will be hosted on Hwb and promoted via social media and Dysg. They are also developing a specific Governor training pack that will be available to all School Governors looking at ways they can support their schools in reducing poverty.