NASUWT comments on the announcement of an increase in the pupil premium
Commenting on the announcement today at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference by David Laws, Minister of State for Schools, that the pupil premium is to be increased from £619 per pupil to £900, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“The announcement of additional funding for the most disadvantaged pupils is, of course, to be welcomed.
“However, the devil will be in the detail of this announcement. In the context of cuts to school budgets and public spending where is this additional money coming from to fund the increase in the pupil premium?
“If cuts are simply being made elsewhere to provide the illusion of additional money then this will be little more than a cosmetic exercise which will fail to provide support to those who most need it and deprive others of much needed funding.
“As the report by Ofsted into schools’ use of the pupil premium earlier this week showed, this money is all too often being absorbed into school budgets as the impact of the cuts bite.
“The pupil premium must be reformed to ensure it is ring-fenced and additional to school budgets, with close scrutiny of how it is being spent. Only then will it genuinely reach and make a difference to those pupils it was introduced to help.”