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Labour joins the fray on pupil premium

19 March 2010

Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, threw Labour’s hat into the ring this week by proposing a pupil premium for poorer students. The Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats have already set out their plans to introduce a pupil premium.  

Politicians say that the extra money for students from disadvantaged backgrounds would be used to help improve their attainment.  However, there is scepticism over whether the additional funding would help to achieve better results. The Institute of Fiscal Studies has said that a pupil premium would lead to only a "modest" closing of the gap in attainment between rich and poor children. 

But the real issue is funding.  The government has already warned that school budgets will be getting tighter in the next couple of years. Therefore, whichever party wins power at the General Election, limited funding means that, at this stage, it seems unlikely that the pupil premium will ever make it on to the statute book.

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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