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Via .@welshconserv

Money aimed at helping poorer pupils may not be delivering value for money, according to a new report.

In Wales, £94 million a year is spent on the pupil development grant (PDG) – but there are concerns that changes to Key Stage 4 assessments and school budget pressures may be having a detrimental effect on the grant’s effectiveness where Looked After Children are concerned.

Welsh Conservatives have said they support the investment and the grant’s core aims, but responding to the report by the Assembly’s Education Committee – Shadow Education Secretary, Darren Millar, said:

“This report highlights concerns with the Pupil Development Grant, and suggests that it may not be delivering value for money.

“The investment is well-intentioned, and we support the grant’s core aim but it’s far from clear that enough is being done to make a meaningful difference – particularly where Looked After Children are concerned.

“Changes at Key Stage Four haven’t helped, whilst the performance of regional consortia has been hit and miss, with the bodies lacking expertise and unwilling to consult widely enough.

“The aim of this grant is to improve attainment outcomes for pupils from the poorest backgrounds, and the Welsh Government must ensure that there is a coherent, robust approach to ensure that this happens.�