We must use cash wisely

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AT a time when budgets are routinely being cut, it is welcome to report that the amount being paid to Sheffield’s poorest pupils is almost being doubled.

The city’s Pupil Premium payment will increase from £6.5 million this year to £11,414,000 in 2012/13.

Stories based on figures are rarely appealing, but these statistics are telling.

It means 19,040 children are expected to be eligible for extra funding, which is increasing by £112 to £600 per pupil.

This cash should make a difference where it is needed most. It can mean additional tuition, better IT resources and closer work with parent.

And while we understand other walks of life are suffering, it is essential that pupils are given a fair chance at school.

A good education is essential and those from the poorest homes should not be made to suffer because of their backgrounds.

If this cash is carefully targeted and helps the least well-off achieve their ambitions, it is money well spent.

Tears show why she’s a winner

SHE’S tough, she’s brave and she’s defied the odds.

But even Sheffield Navy paramedic Michelle Ping was moved to tears when she was named Reservist of The Year.

As we reported last night, Michelle rescued a wounded soldier while under Taliban fire in Afghanistan.

And for that, she won the title at the Military Awards.

Who could fail to be impressed by her bravery when climbing onto a roof under a hail of bullets to reach a soldier who had been shot in the head?

But Michelle was so stunned to win the award, she held her face and cried.

Her heartfelt reaction does her credit.

Michelle’s humanity no doubt helped inspire her amazing actions and she should be proud to shed a tear when others appreciate her incredible bravery.

A good exercise

IT sounds like the perfect way to meet business contacts _ and enjoy it.

Entrepreneur Faye Smith is the brains behind a ‘NetWalking’ group, which networks during a stroll along wooded paths.

According to her, it helps clear heads and can lead to new ideas while getting fresh air and exercise.

No wonder others have shown interest, be they business contacts, redundant job seekers or self-employed workers.

After all, when it comes to networking a blast of fresh air sounds much better than the hot air some meetings create.