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Effective use of pupil premium 'should be rewarded'

30/06/2015 Joanna
Schools that consistently improve results for their most disadvantaged pupils should be rewarded by the government, according to a new study.

This would build on the Pupil Premium Awards scheme, which rewarded 660 schools this year for their success with the pupil premium - including prizes of £250,000 for the most successful schools.

It is one of six new policy recommendations made by the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) that are designed to increase the impact the pupil premium has on outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

The proposals have been made ahead of a major summit due to be held tomorrow (July 1st), which will discuss how best to improve attainment for disadvantaged pupils, closing the gap between them and their peers.

Polling commissioned ahead of the summit reveals 50 per cent of primary teachers and 44 per cent of secondary teachers feel the premium is being used to continue activities that would otherwise not take place due to budget constraints.

Teachers' spending decisions are increasingly informed by evidence, the research shows. Some 64 per cent of school leaders said they used research to decide how to spend their pupil premium, compared with 52 per cent in 2012.

Early pupil intervention schemes remain high on the list of spending priorities, favoured by 31 per cent of schools and almost equally popular in primary and secondaries. One-to-one tuition is chosen by one in six schools.

The polling is based on a sample of 1,478 teachers polled as part of the National Foundation for Education Research teachers' omnibus. 

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and the EEF, said: "There is no doubt that the pupil premium has enabled schools to do more to improve the results of their less advantaged pupils. But equally, the data suggests that we still have a long way to go. 

"Giving disadvantaged young people the best start in life is a vital national endeavour that will pay dividends in providing a more skilled workforce and a more just society."

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801792817-ADNFCR
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