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New report published about how schools are spending Pupil Premium funding

September 2015

This National Audit Office recently published a report on how well the Department for Education is doing with its aim of narrowing the attainment gap between disadvantaged and other pupils with their Pupil Premium policy, and how well schools are spending the funding.

There are some key findings:

  • Introducing the Pupil Premium has increased school leaders’ focus on improving outcomes for disadvantaged children. 94% of school leaders now target support at disadvantaged pupils compared with 57% before.
  • Many schools spend some of the Pupil Premium on approaches that may not be cost-effective, reducing the impact of the funding.
  • Schools make different choices about which pupils to target Pupil Premium activities on.
  • 64% of school leaders now use the Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning toolkit to inform decisions about Pupil Premium funding.
  • The attainment gap has narrowed slowly since 2011 but the gap remains wide and it will take time for the Pupil Premium’s impact to become clear. The Department does not expect the full impact of funding to be felt until 2018 for primary schools and 2023 for secondary schools.

More detail about each of these points can be found in the report. The report also contains three recommendations for the government: they must be clear about how schools are using the funding and ensure they aren’t using it on costly activities that don’t work, they must make sure funding is allocated fairly, and they must be clear about how they are going to measure impact.

Read a summary of the report here and the full report here.