The Sutton Trust has submitted its response to the government’s consultation on introducing a National Funding Formula.
The Sutton Trust welcomed the principle of a fair funding formula and especially using funding reform to support pupils “who are likely to face additional barriers in reaching their full potential.” The Sutton Trust has long found that economic and educational inequalities hinder social mobility and decrease the chances of poor children achieving the same levels of academic success as their more advantaged peers. There is considerable evidence that an educational equity gap exists across all phases of the English educational system and that the effects of disadvantage are cumulative so that the gap tends to increase as children grow older. Social and financial disadvantages are likely to reduce the chances of young people’s attainment in Key Stage 4 at aged 16 and especially at Advanced level study at age 18.
We also strongly welcome the intention that the pupil premium will continue to operate through the separate pupil premium grant and will be unaffected by the proposals in this consultation. We believe it is crucial that schools receive this funding separately to focus them on the investing in interventions for the disadvantaged students the pupil premium is designed to support. However, we do believe that changes to the school funding present an opportunity to introduce incentives for schools to spend their funding more effectively for disadvantaged pupils. We would like to see the systematic introduction of rewards to schools that demonstrate good use of the pupil premium through the National Funding Formula, to incentivise schools to use evidence to inform school decision making and spending their funding as effectively as possible.
The full response form may be found in the sidebar.