School leaders’ highest ambition is to close disadvantage gap

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published a report on funding for disadvantaged pupils which examines the impact of the Pupil Premium. A concern is that Government distributes core funding for schools on the basis of an old formula which results in inequalities in the core funding received by schools with very similar levels of disadvantage.

Since the introduction of the Pupil Premium in 2011, the attainment gap has closed overall by 4.7 percentage points in primary schools and by 1.6 percentage points in secondary schools.  There is some evidence that the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has started to narrow.

However, calls are being made for the Department for Education to get better at supporting schools to use the Pupil Premium effectively.

Since the financial year 2014 to 2015, virtual school heads (VSHs) have had responsibility for managing pupil premium funding for the children they look after and for allocating it to schools and non-mainstream settings.

Since April 2015, VSHs have also had responsibility for managing the early years pupil premium (EYPP). They’re in charge of giving the premium to the early years providers that educate looked-after children (children in local-authority care) who are taking up the free early education entitlement for 3- or 4-year-olds.

IROs and VSHs need to work collaboratively to ensure workers understand the importance they need to place on education as part of the care planning and review process for every child in care.

Read more

Brief examination of the issues here:  School leaders’ highest ambition is to close disadvantage gap Source: The Association of School & College Leaders Date: 09 October 2015:

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts : Committee calls for urgent changes to support disadvantaged pupils

Statutory guidance for local authorities July 2014: The education of looked after children 

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