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Lib Dems to unveil David Laws' scheme for struggling pupils

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 26, 2012

Yeovil MP David Laws

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Secondary schools will get a £500 “catch-up premium” for every struggling pupil falling behind at the age of 11, Nick Clegg will tell his conference today.

The Liberal Democrat leader will use his keynote speech to announce the new scheme, devised by the new Schools Minister David Laws, the Yeovil MP.

The first allocations will be made in January, for every pupil failing to achieve level four in either reading or maths in tests at the end of primary school.

Around 6,600 South West youngsters failed to reach the expected level for English this year, 8,600 were below target in their writing assessment, and 8,000 in maths. Sources said the £500 – adding up to £55 million across England – would pay for 14 hours of one-to-one tuition, although it would be up to headteachers how they spent it.

Mr Clegg will say: “If you’re a parent whose child has fallen behind; who fears they might get lost in that daunting leap from primary to secondary school; and who is worried by talk about making exams tougher, let me reassure you: we will do whatever it takes to make sure your child is not left behind.”

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