New grant to help pupils

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Thousands of primary-age pupils in Luton schools could soon benefit from a grant to support their education and development, from the Supporting Primary School Pupil’s Fund.

London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAL) has pledged £190,000 to the fund, which aims to provide financial support to primary pupils from low income families, who need extra help so that they receive the same opportunities as their peers.

Luton Borough Council’s councillors worked with London Luton Airport Ltd and schools to develop a small grant fund out of the Community Funding Programme, which supports those children who are at risk of negative educational outcomes as a result of poverty.

Schools will be allocated a proportion of the fund based on the percentage of pupils who have registered and qualify for free school meals.

Parents can apply through the school, for a grant of up to £50 in any one academic year, to purchase clothing, music lessons or specialised equipment for extra curricular activities and school trips. The school use the fund to pay for the item or activity.

Councillor Hazel Simmons, leader of the council, said: “The Supporting Pupils Fund will help those children who would ordinarily be disadvantaged because of their financial circumstances giving them the same opportunities as other pupils.”

Councillor Mohammed Ashraf, chair of London Luton Airport Limited: “We’re really excited about this new opportunity for Luton’s young people, and thank our shareholder for their inspiration in turning our aspiration into reality, and for their support for our Community Funding Programme.

“We could not have done it without them, and we look forward to the fund being an outstanding success.”

Chief Executive of Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, Mark West, said: “The Foundation is delighted to be managing a fund such as this, it is at the very heart of our charitable objects to address poverty and equality of opportunity in education. The fund will make a real difference to those young people in the town who are in greatest need of support.”