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MPs call for urgent changes to pupil premium

MPs call for urgent changes to pupil premium

More needs to be done to ensure the pupil premium improves outcomes for disadvantaged children, a group of MPs has said.

A report into funding for disadvantaged pupils by the public accounts select committee says “urgent steps” must be taken to roll out pupil premium best practice nationally. Chair of the committee, Labour MP Meg Hillier, said the premium is not being used as well as it could be, and more must be done if its “potential is to be fully realised”. 

"More joined-up thinking is required. It is clearly in children’s best interests that weaker schools learn from successes elsewhere and new measures are needed to ensure this happens. Urgent steps must be taken to establish benchmarks for effectiveness and ensure best practice – where evidence shows pupil premium spending and implementation is working – is followed across the sector."

The committee found that:

  • Not enough is done to make sure good practice is adopted in weaker schools
  • Not enough is understood about why some disadvantaged pupils do better at school than others
  • Some schools are struggling to challenge disengaged parents effectively
  • The introduction of universal credit may make it harder to identify disadvantaged pupils
  • There are big disparities in funding given to schools, even those with similar numbers of disadvantaged pupils