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March 29 2012.

Local secondary schools and disadvantaged pupils are set to benefit from a £50million summer schools fund this summer according to local MP, Norman Baker, who is encouraging schools to apply for funding.

The announcement comes as part of the government's £2.5billion pupil premium which provides dedicated money which follows pupil's who receive free school dinners through their schools years.

The targeted funding will provide each school that applies with £500 per eligible pupil and head teachers will be able use the money to design and run summer schools, targeting pupils who will benefit the most. The funding applies to pupils who are making the transition to secondary school and provides the funds for them to take part in a two-week summer school to help with the transition. The funding could be used for activities such as:

· Transitional activities to help familiarise pupils with their new environment. Activities could include meeting teachers, having a tour of the school or learning more about their new curriculum.

· Additional intensive support in English and mathematics to enable pupils who need it to make progress in these key areas before they start the secondary curriculum, both as catch up and preparation for the new term.

· Wider enrichment activities such as arts, music and sports activities, trips to theatres and museums, visits to local higher education institutions and employers etc.

Schools that want to apply for funding can find further information at the website below. The closing date is the 30th of April:  

Norman says: "It is incredibly unfair that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds tend not to do as well as their peers and we must try to change that to give them the education opportunities they deserve. Evidence shows that the transition to secondary school is a particularly tough time as struggling pupils can fall further behind. The summer school fund will specifically target this by providing further support to complement the existing induction arrangements and I would certainly encourage local schools to grasp this opportunity with both hands."