Cash boost for young ‘still unfair’

News story
News story

DOZENS of Wigan children will still miss out on a £1,900 funding boost when it is extended.

A move is being made to close a loophole which excluded adopted children from the Pupil Premium: a payment made to provide extra help for youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds.

But the cash will only be made to those who were born after 2005 – meaning that adopted nine to 16-year-olds still are not eligible – a fact which has angered support group Adoption UK.

It estimates 55 Wigan borough children will still not get the cash

This news comes after the borough saw an increase in the number of adopted children in recent years.

But council chiefs say the lack of funding will not adversely affect these youngsters and their families.

A spokesman said: “This is a new payment, therefore adopted children and their families will not be impacted negatively.

“We will know more once allocations for the grant are confirmed this summer.”

Adoption UK, however, wants the scheme to be extended to include all adopted children up to the age of 16, many of whom were adopted after suffering abuse and neglect.

The pupil premium, for youngsters who are entitled to free school meals and those in care, was introduced by the Government in 2011.

Adoption UK’s chief executive Hugh Thornbery added: “It is scandalous that so many adopted children will miss out on support just when they need it most.

“The arbitrary cut-off date will lead to the untenable situation where one sibling in a family qualifies for support and another sibling is denied support.

“Adoption UK is encouraged that the Government has recognised that adopted children have additional needs in school and is providing vital extra support to some of those children via the Pupil Premium initiative.

“We strongly urge the Government to extend this scheme to all adopted children so those who need it most don’t miss out.”