Pupil Premium failing to help the poorest children

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has challenged the Government on whether overall cuts to school budgets are undermining the ability of the Pupil Premium to help some of the poorest school children improve their educational attainment.

As member of the Education Select Committee, Alex questioned Education Secretary Michael Gove about the true value of the premium as many schools found they no longer had the money provided by local authorities as the government had axed those budgets.

Research has also shown that almost three-quarters of primary schools and 90% of secondary schools face losses in their budgets due to inflation, even taking into account pupil premium funding.

Alex said:

“It seems the government are merely giving money to schools with one hand and taking it away with another.

“Independent analysis has shown that schools are facing the biggest cuts in education spending since 1950s, and I was disappointed that Secretary Gove would not acknowledge that the introduction of the pupil premium will do little to counteract this.

“Mr Gove also failed to outline what systems would be in place to ensure that pupil premium funding is used effectively and targets those most in need. He appeared to acknowledge that the money could simply disappear into school budgets and no-one could identify whether or not it was being targeted at individuals.

“Despite all their promises, it unfortunately seems likely that some of the most disadvantaged school children in the country will fail to see their circumstances improve under this Tory-led government.”