The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called on the Welsh Labour Government to domore to help poorer pupils in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.
In a debate hosted by the Welsh Liberal Democrats taking place this week, Mr. Black will be highlighting the need for the Pupil Deprivation Grant to be significantly increased.
The Pupil Deprivation Grant provides schools with extra money to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In Wales it is currently £450 per pupil on free school meals. The Welsh Liberal Democrats agreed to support the Welsh Labour Government's Budget in 2011 on the basis of securing £32.04 million for the grant.
Schools in Swansea currently receive £2.67 million because of Peter Black and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. In Bridgend schools are receiving £1.56 million and in Neath Port Talbot, £1.8 million.
Mr. Black said said:
"The Pupil Deprivation Grant was a key commitment in the Welsh Liberal Democrat's 2011 manifesto. I'm delighted we have made it a reality. However, I'm concerned that the Welsh Labour Government is now content to sit back and think the work is done.
"It is a shocking fact that only 20% of young people from the poorest families achieve five good GCSEs, including English and maths, compared with 75% from the richest families. We must put an end to this inequality.
"Liberal Democrats in England have increased funding to £1,300 per child on free schools meals. In Wales it is currently £450 per pupil. Once again, the Welsh Labour Government's poverty of ambition is allowing pupils in Wales to fall further behind.
"We all know that Welsh schools have suffered from years of being underfunded compared to England. The Welsh Liberal Democrats are fighting to ensure that Welsh pupils are put on an even footing."
The Pupil Deprivation Grant research by the Welsh Liberal Democrats is available here: