The BBC is reporting that a committee of MPS has warned “urgent steps” are needed to ensure more effective support for two million disadvantaged pupils in England.
The Public Accounts Committee said there was a lack of consistency in funding and levels of support…
Closing the “attainment gap” for disadvantaged pupils should be a “cornerstone of education policy”, said Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee.
The Public Accounts Committee, which scrutinises the value of public spending, said there were early signs that pupil premium funding was making a positive difference.
But it called for a “step change” in increasing efforts to prevent poorer pupils from losing out at school.
Ms Hillier said without closing the attainment gap, poverty would continue to “pass down through generations”.
“There needs to be a better understanding of why disadvantaged pupils from different backgrounds can perform so differently,” she said.
The report highlights how underachievement seems to be more deeply entrenched for some pupils, such as those in deprived coastal areas.
In contrast, it said that Chinese pupils had high levels of attainment “irrespective of their level of disadvantage”.
Pupil premium funding has provided £6bn support for poorer pupils between 2011 and 2015.
But the committee wanted more sharing of how pupil premium money could be used most efficiently.
And it highlighted differences in school funding, which could mean that “some schools receive about £3,000 a year more than others per disadvantaged pupil”.
The committee also said it was “very concerned” that the rollout of universal credit did not include a clear mechanism for identifying children eligible for the pupil premium.
Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, supported the committee’s call to “encourage schools to use evidence-based interventions to make sure the pupil premium is being spent in the most effective ways”.
He said the funding system should be designed to reward schools that succeeded in helping disadvantaged pupils…
Read the report from the PAC in full:327
Your thoughts and reactions to the issues raised here by the PAC?
Interesting that they have specifically mentioned funding differences as an issue and the comments on universal credit could be a sign of issues around the corner.
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