Laura Sharman 29 April 2021

One in three head teachers warn funding for poorer pupils is plugging budget gaps

One in three head teachers warn funding for poorer pupils is plugging budget gaps image

A third of head teachers are using funding meant to support disadvantaged pupils to plug general budget gaps, a new survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by the Sutton Trust, found 34% of heads say the pupil premium is being used to plug general gaps in their school’s budget, up from 23% in 2019.

However, the poll did reveal an increase in the use of evidence in deciding how to spend this funding. Almost four-fifths (79%) of all senior leaders said they considered research evidence when deciding how to spend their pupil premium funding.

Almost one in five (17%) of secondary heads report that one-to-one and small group tuition is their priority for pupil premium spending this school year, while heads in primary schools said early intervention scheme are the top priority.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: 'At a time when schools are facing monumental challenges, the additional funding they get through the pupil premium has never been more important.

'So it’s concerning to see that a third of heads are using this funding to plug general budget gaps, likely because they face additional costs due to the pandemic. The priority of the education recovery plan must be to provide enough resources for disadvantaged pupils, so that they can begin to recover from the massive disruption of the last year.'

The charities that a change to the reporting date for the pupil premium - which means schools report the number of eligible pupils in October rather than January - will see the average primary school set to lose £6,000.

They are calling on the Government to reverse this decision and for significant financial support for disadvantaged pupils to be prioritised in the education recovery plan.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Electoral Services Officer

Denbighshire County Council
£29,577- £32,234
Denbighshire County Council has an exciting vacancy for the post of Electoral Services Officer Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych)
Recuriter: Denbighshire County Council

Residential Assistant

Essex County Council
£18029 - £20604 per annum
About the Role Please note, this is a part time role working 22.5 hours per week.The salary would be on a pro rata basis, so £10,963 - £12,529 per an England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Customer Specialist

Essex County Council
Up to £22915 per annum
This is a part time role for 20 hours a week for a fixed term period of 12 months. The Role Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Commissioning and Partnerships

Government of Jersey
£76,299 - £86,279 per annum
Jersey is on an exciting journey towards implementing a new model of care Jersey (GB) (JE)
Recuriter: Government of Jersey

Employer Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £28846 per annum
Employer OfficerFixed Term, Full TimeUp to £28,846 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue