NASUWT comments on pupil premium report

Commenting on the report released today by the Education Endowment Foundation and Sutton Trust on the pupil premium, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“The Sutton Trust Report does not tell us anything new. It simply confirms what the NASUWT predicted when the pupil premium was introduced, that given the cuts to school budgets the funding would inevitably be used to shore-up diminishing school budgets, rather than support disadvantaged children.

“A recent NASUWT survey on the use of the Pupil Premium found that over half of teachers did not know how the additional funding for Pupil Premium pupils is spent in their school and nearly a third had not been made aware what priorities their school had focused on to support pupils who attracted the pupil premium funding.

“In too many cases teachers were not seeing any extra resource in their classrooms but were still expected to meet the additional needs of the pupils.

“As this report highlights, the Pupil Premium has the potential to make a real difference to the most disadvantaged pupils, but the benefits are not being realised because of cuts to school budgets and a lack of robust financial oversight of how money is being spent.

“If real progress is to be made in closing the achievement gap for the most disadvantaged pupils, then those actually teaching the pupils need to be consulted on its use.

“There needs to be a clear system of monitoring, but above all schools need to be funded appropriately to ensure the pupil premium truly is additional funding.”

Notes to editors

The NASUWT survey, which attracted over 2,600 responses, found that:
over half (53%) of teachers do not know how the additional funding for Pupil Premium pupils is spent;
nearly a third (32%) have not been made aware what priorities their school has focused on to support Pupil Premium pupils;
almost nine out of ten (87%) teachers have not received specific training on teaching and learning strategies for pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium;
over two thirds of teachers (70%) stated that the whole school Pupil Premium strategies have not been discussed or reviewed with staff;
over half (56%) of teachers are given specific targets for Pupil Premium pupils without specific strategic support plans;
nearly two thirds (65%)  say they are required to track, monitor and report on the progress of pupils eligible for Pupil Premium in addition to other reporting procedures;
over a third (37%) state that data-related targets for pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium have been imposed as objectives or success criteria with their performance management;
well over half (59%) say that the Pupil Premium strategies in the school create extra workload for teachers;
over half (53%) said that their school devises the strategies to be used with pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium, as opposed to working with individual teachers.