The TES is reporting a survey that suggests most teachers do not know how their school is spending money from the government’s pupil premium fund…
Research by the NASUWT union, published to mark the opening of its annual conference in Cardiff today, found that 56 per cent of almost 2,000 respondents did not know how their school was spending additional funds.
The money, worth £2.5 billion nationally this year, is targeted at pupils from deprived backgrounds who are eligible for free school meals.
The union claims that despite being unaware of any additional support for these pupils, many teachers were given specific targets to improve their attainment.
Thirty-six per cent of teachers said their own performance management criteria included data-related targets for pupils who attracted pupil premium funding. Some 55 per cent said they had been given specific targets for pupil premium pupils, but were not given strategic support for these pupils.
One respondent said: “We are being reviewed and assessed on student progress for [the] pupil premium with no additional support.”
Several respondents said they were concerned about the way in which their schools spent pupil premium money…
Interesting issue. Surely it is not necessarily wrong for a teacher to be given a specific target to improve attainment for children eligible for pupil premium – as part of a school’s overall goals – without necessarily being given extra funds? I don’t see why one has to follow the other as the school might be doing excellent and appropriate things with the funding in different ways.
However, it does support the assessment of the impact of pupil premium we covered yesterday which suggested it may be the focus on these children rather than the money iteself that is (at least in part) responsible for changes in the attainment gap.
That said, if teachers suspect the money is not being spent appropriately then that’s a different issue entirely. Do you think pupil premium money is being well and suitably spent? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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