Clegg thinks new 'brain training' summer schools will help disadvantaged pupils prepare for life in secondary education

Nick Clegg believes the introduction of 2,000 new summer schools will provide an "equal footing" for around 65,000 disadvantaged pupils.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who first announced the two-week "brain training" camps at last year's Liberal Democrat party conference, said the initiative will give struggling pupils leaving primary school a chance to "get to grips" with the way things work at secondary level.

These summer schools will be looking to reverse Government findings that show a lot of pupils struggle to adjust to life in secondary school.

With this change potentially having consequences for each pupil's future career path, it is hoped that improving their skills early on will boost their employment prospects later in life.

As part of the summer schools scheme, pupils will be given catch-up numeracy and literacy classes, while there will also be sessions for youngsters to meet their new teachers.

The camps have been made possible after around 50 million was made available from the pupil premium, which provides funding for disadvantaged children.

Mr Clegg said: "This is 50 million worth of extra brain training giving tens of thousands of disadvantaged pupils a flying start at secondary school.

"It's two weeks in the summer holidays where pupils can catch up on learning and get to grips with life in secondary school - in short, get in the starting blocks ready for the off in September."

He explained that it is often the poorest in society who struggle the most with the transition from primary to secondary schools, but these summer schools could make a real difference.

Mr Clegg added: "It's good news for mums and dads too - no parent wants their child to be left out and fall behind. But not everyone has the luxury of taking long periods off work during the summer break.

"Summer schools will ensure pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds can start secondary school on an equal footing with their peers, setting them up to succeed."

Children's minister Sarah Teather added: "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."

Copyright Press Association 2012