Nearly a quarter of teachers think that the pupil premium – funds which schools receive to help improve the results of their disadvantaged pupils – is not being targeted at low income students in their schools, according to a new Sutton Trust poll released today.
The pupil premium has been paid to schools since April 2011 to help them raise the attainment of their poorest students. From September 2014 total pupil premium funding will increase to £2.5bn. Schools will receive £1,300 for each eligible primary pupil and £935 for secondary pupils.
23% of teachers say their school uses the funds to raise the attainment of all pupils or to pay for activities affected by school budget reductions. A further 22% say their school uses pupil premium funding to raise attainment for students who are falling behind while half (53%) say it is used to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
The survey of 1,163 teachers, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), also finds a growing number of school leaders are consulting the Sutton Trust-Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit, an accessible resource based on research evidence to help schools find effective ways to spend pupil premium funding.
45% of senior leaders – heads, assistant heads and deputies – now say they use the Toolkit, compared with 36% in 2013 and 11% in 2012. The proportion rises to 54% among secondary leaders.
However, the survey results indicate that many schools may still not be spending their premium funds on methods shown by the toolkit to be particularly cost-effective.
Early interventions schemes are most often cited as a priority (55%), followed by one-to-one tuition (39%). But only 13% of all teachers cite pupil feedback and 2% peer-to-peer tutoring, both methods shown to be highly cost-effective. Moreover, over a fifth (21%) of teachers say they don’t know their school’s main priority for pupil premium spending.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chair of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation said;
“The pupil premium was established to break the cycle of disadvantage that begins when poor children underachieve at school. It’s vital that the funds to help these pupils are well targeted and used in a cost-effective way.
“We’re delighted that ever increasing numbers of school leaders are consulting the Sutton Trust-Education Endowment Foundation Toolkit but I hope that more teachers will use approaches shown by the Toolkit to be particularly effective.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
|Which of the following best describes how your school treats the resources provided by the pupil premium?|
|target resources to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils||53||50||55|
|target resources to raise attainment for those pupils that are falling behind||22||25||20|
|target resources to raise attainment for all pupils||16||18||14|
|continue activities that would not otherwise happen due to funding pressures or reductions in other areas of the school budget||7||4||9|
|Due to rounding, percentages may not sum to 100.|
The percentages in this table are weighted by FSM rates for all schools and for secondary schools separately. Percentages are not weighted for primary schools.
Source: NFER Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey March 2014.
|With the money received through the Pupil Premium, what is the main priority for extra spending at your school in 2013/2014?|
|Reducing class sizes||4||3||4|
|Additional teaching assistants||7||9||3|
|More one-to-one tuition||16||15||19|
|Peer-to-peer tutoring schemes for pupils||0||0||1|
|Improving feedback between teachers and pupils / providing more feedback that is effective||4||4||4|
|Early intervention schemes||29||31||26|
|Extending the breadth of the curriculum||2||3||2|
|Improving the classroom or school environment||2||2||1|
|Offsetting budget cuts elsewhere||3||2||5|