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Cash boost set to help needy pupils

PUBLISHED: 12:25 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:57 06 July 2010

NEARLY a million pounds is being pumped into schools in Lowestoft to give children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to participate in activities.

NEARLY a million pounds is being pumped into schools in Lowestoft to give children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to participate in activities.

The Extended Schools Pathfinder Subsidy is being piloted in the town as part of a national initiative to increase access to clubs and organisations in and outside school, so pupils that cannot afford to pay can benefit in the same way as those that can.

Over the next two years £958,000 is available to children that are eligible for funding and every school in the Lowestoft area is invited to apply.

It is part of a plan by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, who have released £265.5m in funding between 2008 and 2011 to 18 local authorities across the country.

The project is being spearheaded by Extended Schools cluster co-ordinator Liz Broadhurst and project assistant Julie Mayo.

Mrs Broadhurst said the subsidy is helping children raise attainment and self confidence through activities such as martial arts, dancing, sports and specialised trips, as well as after school and breakfast clubs.

“We had one young person with multiple siblings and the school he was attending realised he was quite withdrawn. With this funding he was able to access a breakfast club every day and an after school club three times a week. As a result he became a different child and his confidence really increased,” she said.

“We had a target for Lowestoft of reaching 1,700 pupils in year one, but already we have actually reached 5,428 pupils, which could be the same young person accessing several activities.”

The Extended Schools team applied for the cash last year and after learning they were successful spent the summer months working with headteachers informing them of how to gain funding.

Those eligible include children with special needs, from single parent families, in temporary accommodation, English as a second language and those who get free school meals.

And as an extra boost some of the cash is being used to provide a programme of summer activities.

If you are a young person aged 16 or over and would like to volunteer at a holiday club during the summer holidays telephone Louise Crisp from V Involved on 01502 530632 or 07919 046373.

If you would like some support email lowestoftesdf@cyp.suffolkcc.gov.uk or telephone 01502 405211.

More information is available on the Suffolk County Council website by clicking on Extended Schools Northern Area and linking to the pathfinder subsidy.

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