Friday, October 15, 2010

Nick Clegg secures his Pupil Premium

In what turned out to be my last House Points column for Liberal Democrat News, I called on party members to enjoy being in government.

I certainly enjoyed Nick Clegg's announcement of an extra £7bn to help the education of children from poor families. As tomorrow's Guardian reports it:
Nick Clegg has wrung from the Treasury "additional" funds to pay for his idea of a fairness premium that would see extra support allocated to poorer pupils. The scheme will cost £7bn during the course of this parliament.
At a speech today in Chesterfield, the deputy prime minister was coy about the money, saying this could be shown only next Wednesday in the comprehensive spending review. But officials say Clegg decided late yesterday to go early with an announcement, a decision which had the support of David Cameron and George Osborne but surprised senior and middle ranking Treasury officials.
Today Clegg repeatedly described the funds for his fairness premium as "additional" – making clear he wants the money to come mostly from outside the education department rather than merely outside the schools budget by cutting "non-essential" education projects such as youth clubs and after-school activities, as had been suggested.
A senior No 10 aide said: "The money for this will come from outside the education budget. We're not just rearranging furniture – this is real new money from elsewhere in Whitehall."
This is very good news and I wish the Liberal Democrat blogosphere had been as exercised about it as it has been about the question of fees for students.

1 comment:

StARTSPACE said...

Appears this was not true or as Clegg himself would say, a lie!!! see the BBC
'Pupil premium' means school cuts elsewhere - Gove