The Pupil Development Grant was introduced in 2012 to provide additional funding to schools to help mitigate disadvantages for pupils on free school meals and LAC. In 2015, it was decided to separate the funding provided for children eligible for free school meals (eFSM) and LAC through two separate grants. Allocations for the PDG for LAC were made to the four regional education consortia (RECs), rather than directly to schools, with the aim of facilitating a more strategic approach to using the funding across regions. The allocation amounts to a little under £4 million a year.
The grant is expected to support school improvement to reduce inequities facing LAC:
- There are around 6,000 LAC with considerable variation in the numbers between LAs and schools. LAC’s prior experiences and their experience of being in care can have profound effects on their educational progress and attainment which impact on their vocational training and employment prospects.
- While the trend over time shows LAC’s attendance and attainment (up to 2016) has generally improved, there is a large gap in attainment between LAC and other pupils at all stages of education, critically at Key Stage 4 which has a great effect on progression. This is found to varying degrees in all REC areas.