New research has shown a growing number of schools are using funding for disadvantaged pupils to offset budget cuts elsewhere.
A survey, conducted by the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation, found 6% of teachers said the money was being used for this purpose, an increase from 2% in 2015.
Of those surveyed, a quarter of teachers said the top priority for spending was on early intervention schemes, with 13% saying funding 1:1 tuition was a priority. However, one in five didn’t know what the main priorities for their pupil premium funding was.
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: 'It is worrying that a growing number of schools feel they have to use funding for disadvantaged pupils to offset budget cuts.
'The pupil premium is a key lever for raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and it’s vital that it continues to be focused on their education.'
Nearly all (98%) senior leaders surveyed agreed that the pupil premium has allowed them to target resources at raising the attainment of their poorest pupils.