Pörksen hails Lib Dem announcement of extra £6 million Pupil Premium funding to give children in Northumberland a brighter future, together with discounted bus fares for 16-21 year olds
The cash would triple the funding to £1,000 per pupil per year - up from £302 in 2015-16.
This will increase the allocation for Northumberland from around £219,000 £657,000 (North East total from £2.98m to £8.9m), and will pay for every disadvantaged child who benefits to receive 570 hours of state-funded early education.
It forms part of a series of policies the Liberal Democrats are announcing ahead of launching their manifesto, with a focus on giving children and young people a fairer future.
- Helping people buy their first home for the same cost as renting, with a new model of ‘Rent to Own’ homes
- Restoring housing benefit for young people
- Creating a discounted bus pass for 16-21 year olds, giving a 66% discount
- Introducing votes at 16 for elections and referendums across the UK
- Investing almost £7bn in our schools and colleges
- Doubling the number of businesses that take apprenticeships
- Tripling the early years pupil premium
- Extending free school meals to all primary school students
Liberal Democrat candidate for Berwick Julie Pörksen commented:
“We will give children in Northumberland across the North East a brighter future, by investing in those from more deprived backgrounds to give them the best possible chance in life.
Notes to Editors
Tripling the early years Pupil Premium
The Liberal Democrats will increase the early years pupil premium – which gives early years settings extra money when they take on children from disadvantaged backgrounds – to £1,000 per pupil per year - this is up from £302 in 2015-16. This will pay for every disadvantaged child who took up their full entitlement to 570 hours of state-funded early education.
Rent to Own
The Liberal Democrats will help working people buy their first home for the same cost as renting, with a new model of ‘Rent to Own’ homes, where each monthly payment steadily buys you a share in the home, which you’ll own outright after 30 years, just like with a normal mortgage. This proposal is part of our plans to deliver 300,000 homes a year with government commissioning homes to fill the gap between private sector building and demand.
Restoring housing benefit for young people
The Liberal Democrats would restore Housing Benefit for 18-21 year-olds. Research by the Liberal Democrats has shown an estimated 18,000 young people will be potentially hit by the government’s decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefit, which came into force in the beginning of April. Charities have warned the change could increase levels of homelessness amongst young people.
Young person's bus pass
The Liberal Democrats will introduce a discount bus pass available to all young people aged between 16 and 21 who are ordinarily resident in England. The bus pass will grant the holder a 66% discount off a single or return ticket on local bus services. Bus companies will be allowed to add their own discounts on top of that. The scheme would be implemented using the same mechanism as the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (the over-60s free bus pass).
Votes at 16
The Liberal Democrats will introduce votes at age 16 for elections and referendums across the UK, and make it easier to register to vote in schools and colleges. At 16 people are subject to all the laws of the land, pay taxes, can become a company director, get married, join the army and in many regards act as full members of society. It is right they get a vote at election time.
Investing £7bn in our schools and colleges
The Liberal Democrats will reverse cuts to frontline school and college budgets by protecting per pupil funding in real terms and introduce a fairer national funding system, which includes protection so that no school loses out.
We will aim to double the number of businesses which hire apprentices, including by extending apprenticeships to new sectors of our economy, like creative and digital industries. As part of raising the number, and quality of apprenticeships, we will ensure that all the receipts from the Apprenticeship Levy in England are spent on training, aiming to fund a wider range of types of training.
The Liberal Democrats will extend free school meals to all children in primary education and promote school breakfast clubs. Liberal Democrats in government already introduced free school meals for all infant school pupils – now we will go one step further and extend this scheme to all primary school pupils, as resources allow. This will ensure every primary pupil gets a healthy meal in the middle of the school day – boosting their education, health and saving parents money.