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Pupil premium allocation concerns

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has responded to the IPPR statement on the pupil premium

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has responded to the IPPR statement on the pupil premium, that “schools will not spend these funds on the children for whom it is intended,” saying it misrepresents the principle of the pupil premium.

The ministerial statement from Michael Gove on 26 June made it clear that pupil premium funding “will not be ring fenced at school level as I believe that schools are in the best position to decide how the premium should be used to support their pupils.” ASCL supports this position. As the pupil premium funding will be allocated through a proxy indicator, it is a general measure and not an assessment of the needs of individual pupils.

ASCL general secretary Brian Lightman said: “The aim of the pupil premium is to address the disparity in attainment of disadvantaged pupils. The proxy indicator will be used to allocate funding to a school. That is not the same thing as identifying the individual pupils whose attainment is likely to be affected by disadvantage. The proxy indicator will allow funding to be allocated in a way that more accurately reflects the needs of schools, based on available data.

“It is a matter for the school to use the funding to ensure that all its pupils reach the standards that they should, despite any disadvantage in their life circumstances. Defining which pupils have an entitlement to a specific share of the funding and how that funding should be used could be counterproductive.

“Although some aspect of free school meals is used as the proxy indicator, that does not mean that the cohort of pupils whose attaiment is at risk through disadvantage is the same as those used in the indicator,” said Lightman.

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Pie Corbett