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Cash for poor pupils used to fill budget gap

Category: In the News
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Rosemary Bennett at The Times covers our newly released teacher polling.

The pupil premium designed to help children from poor backgrounds is being used by almost a third of head teachers to plug gaps in their budgets, according to a think tank. A survey of 1,361 teaching professionals also found that two thirds of schools had cut back on teaching.

Schools in England are facing their first real-terms funding cuts in 20 years and are having to find about £3 billion of savings — seven per cent of their budgets on average.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “Our polling adds to the evidence that the squeeze on school budgets is having a detrimental effect. Of particular concern is that schools are having to use funding for poorer pupils to plug gaps in their finances. Many are having to get rid of teachers to close these gaps.”

While primary school heads were less likely than secondaries to report that their school had shed teaching staff, more than half had cut their teaching assistants and more than a quarter said that support staff had been affected.

Schools with more disadvantaged intakes were more likely to report cuts to staff. Almost half of heads in the most disadvantaged fifth of primary and secondary schools said that they had cut teaching staff. Teachers in London and the northeast were also more likely to report cutting staff.

See the article here.