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Where pound;212,000 will make a real difference

Daniel James community school in Swansea will receive one of the largest single Raise payments of pound;212,000, writes Felicity Waters.

Headteacher Peter Thomas said the money would fund existing initiatives to help disadvantaged children, as well as new ones.

"We are planning to change the curriculum for Year 7, making it themed and more geared towards independent learning. At key stage 4 we are going to introduce more vocational subjects into the curriculum."

Improving literacy and numeracy skills would also be a focus for the money, he added. "We are going to consider all the strategies but we hope to make all our classrooms a more attractive environment for learning and also involve more parents and families in school."

But while schools have welcomed the Raise funding, there are concerns about how it has been allocated.

Martin Grimes, head of Dyffryn comprehensive, Port Talbot, welcomed its Pounds 64,000, but said free school meals entitlement was a "crude mechanism" for making allocations.

"We are always pleased with any extra money and we will do a lot of good with it, but there are lots of others who need support as well. This sets a different sort of agenda for spending money."

He envisaged additional learning and support assistants, and widening the curriculum.

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