A small but growing number of schools are using their funding for disadvantaged pupils to offset budget cuts elsewhere, according to new polling published by the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation today. 6% of teachers reported this as the main priority for their school’s pupil premium spending, an increase from 2% in 2015.
The survey of 1,607 teachers, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research as part of their Teachers’ Voice Omnibus survey, found that one in five didn’t know what the main priorities for their pupil premium funding was. The most common priority for spending, identified by over a quarter of teachers (28%), was on early intervention schemes. 13% said that more 1:1 tuition was a priority and 10% said teaching assistants.
However, virtually all of the senior leaders surveyed believe that the pupil premium has allowed them to target resources at raising the attainment of their poorest pupils. 98% of primary and secondary leaders and four our out of five classroom teachers (79%) agreed with this statement to either a great extent, to some extent or to a little extent.
Today’s polling also highlights the increasing use of evidence in the teaching profession. When asked how their school decide what approaches and programmes to adopt to improve pupil learning, 63% of secondary senior leaders said they considered research evidence on the impact of different approaches and programmes; six out of 10 secondary senior leaders said that they used the Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit too, an increase from 48% in 2015. The Toolkit is also becoming more recognised among classroom teachers, as well as senior leaders. Over one in four said they used it to decide which approaches and programmes to adopt, an increase of 10 percentage points on 2015.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said today:
“It is worrying that a growing number of schools feel they have to use funding for disadvantaged pupils to offset budget cuts. The pupil premium is a key lever for raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and it’s vital that it continues to be focused on their education.”
Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said today:
“It’s great to see a majority of school leaders are now using our Teaching and Learning Toolkit to decide which programmes and approaches to adopt. Better use of research can help schools spend their resources in the most efficient ways and make a real difference to outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.”
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Hilary Cornwell or Conor Ryan on 0207 802 1660.
NOTES TO EDITORS