Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Manchester Labour's Attack on the Pupil Premium raised in Parliament

At the last Manchester City Council meeting, the Labour Administration voted to scrap the pupil premium, describing it as a "sham" - even though it brings around £11 million extra to Manchester this year (over £500k to the Chorlton area alone) with the promise of yet more to follow. It is really depressing that our Labour Council which has for over 40 years had such a poor record of Education attainment and attendance, REJECTED huge levels of funding aimed directly at disadvantaged pupils!

The Labour Council's decision was critcised at Deputy Prime Minister's Questions yesterday. This is the transcript of the session:

[87269] Duncan Hames (Chippenham) (LD): Wiltshire schools have long felt short-changed by funding allocations for education, so they will welcome the doubling of pupil premium moneys for our schools in Wiltshire to more than £5 million next year. Now that Labour councillors in Manchester have voted for the pupil premium to be scrapped, will the Deputy Prime Minister consider giving our schools next year some of the more than £18 million of pupil premium that their council has rejected?

Nick Clegg, The Deputy Prime Minister: The pupil premium, which by the end of this Parliament will be £2.5 billion of extra money to help schools that are educating children from the most challenging backgrounds, is a very powerful, progressive policy, and I am very proud that we have delivered it, as a coalition Government. We have been searching in vain for months to find out what the Labour party would actually cut in public expenditure. Now, we have the answer: Labour councillors want to cut the pupil premium that benefits some of the most deprived children in this country. That is progressive politics for you!


  1. In the face of 16% cuts in real terms over the next 4 years as a result of Clegg's cuts, this is a sham. Labour hasn't 'rejected' the money, they'll take what they can get, they've just rejected the notion that the Lib Dems have delivered for Manchester's kids, when they've made it quite clear they've sold the next generation down the river.

  2. And how many cuts would Labour have made - they have said they would do so but are being remarkably coy about the details. Are Manchester Labour seriously saying that they'd prefer to `cut off their nose to spite their face` and not help those children most in need in Manchester for political purposes?

    Why is it that in Lib Dem led Stockport they are most certainly welcoming the pupil premium with open arms as well as only cutting the lollipops of the safest crossings (unlike Labour's first instincts which is to cut them all).