0370 270 6000

Is the Pupil Premium reaching those who need it most?

22 October 2012

The effectiveness of the Pupil Premium is likely to face further scrutiny following the release of figures by the Department for Education (DfE) which show pupils eligible for free school meals were almost three times as likely to be “persistent absentees” than those who were not eligible (10.6% compared with 3.7% in the Autumn 2011 and Spring 2012 terms).

Children’s charity Barnados has urged schools “to do more to find the root causes for such a stark imbalance between the numbers of poor children missing valuable lesson time and their classmates.”

Studies show a high number of eligible pupils fail to claim free school meals due to the perceived stigma attached, resulting in schools missing out on a significant proportion of potential funds. This raises concerns over the effectiveness of the Pupil Premium in its current form. Arguably the criteria for eligibility should be changed to increase take up and any unclaimed funds should be put towards developing other strategies which can help disadvantaged children.

Related opinions

Judicial Review of school exclusion reconsideration dismissed on all grounds

The recent case of R (on the application of A Parent) v Governing Body of XYZ School [2022] EWHC 1146 (Admin) provides some welcome and reassuring guidance to governing boards on the exclusion reconsideration process.

View blog

60 seconds with… Emma Hughes

With 19 HR experts now supporting over 500 schools and trusts across the country, in this edition of 60 seconds we sit down with Emma Hughes, who leads the team, to discuss what this significant milestone means to her.

View blog

Fines for unsafe removal of asbestos in schools

In order to reduce the risk of potential breaches, schools should follow this Health and Safety Executive guidance.

View blog

Asbestos: Still the UK’s number one occupational killer

A ResPublica report highlighted that asbestos continues to be the UK’s number one occupational killer, with nurses and teachers 3 to 5 times more likely to develop mesothelioma than the general UK population. The House of Commons Work & Pensions Select Committee is investigating how the HSE manages the continued presence of asbestos in buildings.

View blog

Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

View profile

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up