Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has launched a new summer schools programme designed to help struggling pupils make the transition between primary and secondary schools.
The £50 million scheme will see secondary teachers providing the extra "brain training" to help the 42 per cent of disadvantaged students - those eligible for free school meals or in care - who fail to meet the required level of attainment. In comparison, just 22 per cent of their peers do not make the grade.
In all, up to 65,000 pupils will be assisted to make a smooth transition between primary and secondary education at almost 2,000 summer schools.
Today (July 23rd), Mr Clegg visited some of those in teaching jobs in London to see how one of the first summer schools in England is planning to deliver a two-week curriculum of catch up classes, including literacy and numeracy boosters, and sessions to prepare pupils for secondary school life, as well as arts, music and sporting activities.
"Those who struggle to make the transition are often among the poorest in society, but two weeks of activities can really help to bridge the gap," the Liberal Democrat leader explained.
"Summer schools will ensure pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds can start secondary school on an equal footing with their peers, setting them up to succeed."
His words were echoed by children's minister Sarah Teather who said: "Many pupils, often those from poorer families, suffer a dip when they join secondary school.
"These brilliant summer schools give those children that need it a head start and the extra help they need so that they are well prepared to succeed at this crucial stage of their education career."
The summer schools programme will be paid for using part of the £1.25 billion of additional funding which has been allocated to help disadvantaged children through the pupil premium in 2012-13.
Posted by Tim Colman