The Pupil Premium

The Liberal Democrats are announcing today a major investment for schools in Haringey through the Pupil Premium.

In its first year the programme will target £625m extra funding to the poorest children in school, with this figure rising to £2.5bn each year, by the end of this Parliament.

In year one, every school is guaranteed an extra £430 from the Government for every child on free school meals and every looked-after child.

In Haringey that could mean around £4.5 million in extra cash.

For years, Labour told us that children in inner London boroughs were worth more than children here in Haringey. That was a disgrace and we’re bringing it to an end.

The premium gives Headteachers in Haringey the freedom to use the money how they want, in the ways they know work – not how politicians in Whitehall tell them to.”

By helping some of the most disadvantaged children, we can help whole classes work together better and move forward faster. This is great news for children, parents and teachers alike.

Despite the recent controversy, all the evidence shows that the best way to help bright kids from poor families get to university is to target additional resources at them when they are younger and so give them a head start in life.

Nearly 1.4m children will benefit (2010 figures). 17% of all children. In 2011/12, the PP will be distributed under a flat distribution model, so that FSM children will get the same increase, regardless of where they live. The PP figure will reach £2.5bn a year by 2014/15 – both increasing the amount each pupil receives each year and the number of those eligible for extra funding.

Schools that benefit from this additional cash will not be told exactly how to use it. This is part of our plans to give schools greater freedom. But schools will be expected to ensure children struggling with the basics get the extra support they need so they don’t fall irretrievably behind their peers. But every child in the class will benefit from helping any child, particularly any that are struggling.

Looked after children will be eligible for the premium as their attainment is very low –  just 15% achieved five good GCSEs last year compared to the national average of 50%.

After year one, as resources for the pupil premium increase, it will be extended to cover more pupils (FSM6), and will be made more responsive to geographical variation in underlying schools budgets. This government’s ambition is to ensure every deprived young person gets access to the same level of educational support, no matter where they live.

The gap between pupils on FSM and their peers is already, sadly, apparent by the time they reach the end of primary school. At secondary the gulf grows wider still.

By sixteen, a pupil not entitled to free school meals is over 3 times more likely to achieve five good GCSEs as one who is entitled.

In 2007/08, out of a cohort of 600,000 pupils, 80,000 pupils were eligible for free school meals. And of those, just 40 made it to Oxbridge. Fewer than from Eton and Westminster.

0 thoughts on “The Pupil Premium

  1. In my expereince, as a university lecturer who teaches a lot of undergraduates from poor backgrounds, the key to them being able to go to university is;

    a) the EMA, without which they would not have been able to study after 16

    b) low fees; they were all very clear that £9,000 a year would have put all of them off completely.

    Since the coalition is getting rid of EMAs and has not got rid of fees the arithmetic for poor children looks like this now;

    EMA = £3120
    Fees = £27000
    Tot £30120

    If pupil premium is paid Y1 – Y10 @ £430 pa = £4300

    Difference = £25,820

  2. I am sorry but why would we trust you on this?

    If when you have signed a written pledge and shown this to get elected ‘Say goodbye to Broken promises’ then why would anybody believe anything you say that wasn’t written-down?

    You stole my vote and should be in prison.

  3. For the first time, have to congratulate the coalition for a policy I wholly support. More does need to e done in freeing teachers to teach individual children in accordance with their own personal needs, but this finally recognises the desperate importance of these early years.

    Just one question – where is the money coming from? New money, or removed from other school projects? I would hate to think that other important projects are being damaged.

  4. According to the BBC today:

    “with the revelation that the schools budget will not now rise above above inflation, it is clear the pupil premium is not on top of what schools had before.”

    You are robbing Peter to pay Paul. Where is the money coming from for the Pupil Premium? From other pupils, it appears.

  5. “In Haringey that could mean around £4.5 million in extra cash.”

    ‘That could mean’, eh? No firm figures yet? (Not that I’d trust them from you now anyway, frankly.) At the same time, Haringey council is *definitely* losing £24.3m next year.

    That’s a cut of 7.9% in it’s budget – the second highest cut of any outer London borough (Newham gets hit hardest), and indeed higher than two-thirds of inner London boroughs. So much for ending a ‘disgrace’ of disproportionate funding.

  6. Michael Gove has just said; “No school will see a reduction compared to 2010-11 budget (excluding 6th form) of more than 1.5% per pupil pupil premium”. Didn’t your coalition partners promise to protect school budgets. If the government is taking away 1.5% from all schools doesn’t that mean that the Pupil Premium is actually just going to mean that slightly less money is taken away from schools which have large numbers of FSM children. It also means that schools with low numbers of FSM children are going to suffer very deep cuts. In the school where I used to teach 1.5% would mean a cut of around £20,000. That is two-thirds of a teacher. The school would only break even if it had 50 or more children on FSM.

    This does not take into account further cuts in school budgets in subsequent years.

  7. “Despite the recent controversy, all the evidence shows that the best way to help bright kids from poor families get to university is to target additional resources at them when they are younger and so give them a head start in life.”
    no need for tuition fee grants then, eh?

    the puzzling thing is, we aim to enable children to learn because it is their right to have a decent eduction, so how does education go from being a right to being a privilege when an individual reaches 18 years of age?