Yesterday I was introduced to the Pupil Premium idea. I had no idea such a thing existed but now I do know I applaud it wholeheartedly .
It is there to help children from disadvantaged back grounds and takes the form of help with trips, uniforms, and of course free school dinners.
I was impressed by the thought that had gone into this and realise that over the country in these hard economic times it must be a boon for those in receipt of it.
The idea still remains that it might be a stigma best avoided where possible for the sake of the child. Most schools take great care to keep these things quiet fully recognising that children do not want their peers to be aware of their problems.
The only thing that worried me a little was the assumption that these children would automatically be falling behind or even be not as well equipped intellectually. Being poor does not mean you are lower than average . Many are bright children trapped in bad circumstances. So here goes, I will say it.
I was one of these children. I did have free school dinners. I was from a disadvantaged back ground.
But I was not behind with my class work...it doesn't follow automatically that children from poor homes are going to lag behind those from better homes.
I did pass the eleven plus despite all my problems and have always been grateful for my education....but if at one stage someone had given me a new gym slip or some new shoes I would have been eternally grateful!