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RCT Council note – deprivation grant cannot prop up nursery provision

December 29, 2013 9:30 AM

Welsh Education Minister Huw Lewis has issued a stark warning to Local Authorities that the pupil deprivation grant must be used for the purpose for which it is intended and nothing else.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell said

"Two years ago a deal was struck to introduce the pupil deprivation grant in Wales, as our Westminster colleagues had already done in England. Our Assembly Members forged an agreement with the Welsh Government that gave schools a sum of £450 for each pupil on free school meals.

"This year they again refused to back the Labour Government's budget unless concessions were made that put extra funds into key priorities and they negotiated more than double that amount. As a result the grant will rise to £918 per free schools meals pupil.

"Concerns have been expressed that the money may be seen by some school,s and indeed by some education authorities, as just an extra bonus to be used on their own priorities. The Minister has made it very clear that this is not to happen and that if it does then the money will be clawed back.

"Last week we brought to the attention of the Minister a section of the report prepared for the RCT Cabinet following the consultation on the first stage of cuts. It stated that there was a possibility the pupil deprivation grant could be used to offset the effects if the cuts in provision. This followed a similar suggestion from Pontypridd AM Mick Antoniw who you would have hoped would know better.

"Hopefully the message will eventually have reached the powers that be in RCT Council that they cannot do this."