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over-hyped promises fall flat as budget and premium take a downturn

14 December 2010

The government have announced that, contrary to previous statements, the education budget will not rise in real terms over the next 4 years due to changes to the forecast of inflation. They have also announced that the pupil premium will be £430 per pupil whose family earns less than £16,000. Not only is this significantly less than expected, it has been confirmed that it is money which has been recycled from other areas of school funding rather than a fresh injection of cash.

Russell Hobby from the NAHT has described the pupil premium a ‘damp squib’ since the amount is so low that targeted education provision and other such initiatives will not be feasible. Even if the pupil premium does incentivise schools to admit disadvantaged pupils, they are under no obligation to spend the additional money on their poorer pupils. This watered-down pupil premium may end up making no real impact on the educational prospects of the most disadvantaged pupils.

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