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'Premium' boost for primary schools

Primary schools in England are to be handed an extra £22.5 million to help close the gap between the poorest pupils and their richer classmates, it has been announced.

The increased "pupil premium" funding for primaries will help teachers to support disadvantaged youngsters from the time they start school, and stop them falling behind, Schools Minister David Laws said.

He said that the total available funding for 2015/16 will be protected in real terms, with just over £2.5 billion given to schools overall.

In total, primary schools will get £1,320 for every child who has been registered for free school meals (FSM) in the last six years - known as "Ever 6 FSM" pupils.

Secondaries will continue to get £935 for each "Ever 6 FSM" student and all schools will still receive £1,900 for youngsters who are in care, or who have left care due to adoption or other reasons.

Mr Laws said: "We know schools are using their pupil premium funding more effectively than ever to raise the performance of those children who need extra help.

"We have already made significant progress towards closing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. This additional funding will ensure teachers continue to have the resources they need to give all pupils the best possible start at school, regardless of their background."

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