Pupil premium funding missing its target
Over half of teachers do not know how the additional funding their school receives under the Pupil Premium is being spent, a new survey by the NASUWT, the largest teachers union in the UK, has found.
The survey, which had nearly 2000 responses from teachers in England, found teachers are being expected to account for the outcomes of pupils eligible for support from the Pupil Premium, but in many cases the additional funding has not found its way to the classroom.
The survey found that:
- over half (56%) of teachers do not know how the additional funding for Pupil Premium pupils is spent;
- almost nine out of ten (88%) teachers have not received specific training on teaching and learning strategies for pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium;
- 70% of teachers stated that the whole school Pupil Premium strategies have not been discussed or reviewed with staff;
- over a third (34%) have not been made aware what priorities their school has focused on to support Pupil Premium pupils;
- over half (55%) of teachers are given specific targets for Pupil Premium pupils without specific strategic support plans;
- over half (56%) said that their school devises the strategies to be used with pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium, as opposed to working with individual teachers;
- nearly two thirds (63%) of teachers say they are required to track, monitor and report on the progress of pupils eligible for Pupil Premium in addition to other reporting procedures;
- 60% say that the Pupil Premium strategies in the school create extra workload for teachers;
- 36% of teachers state that data-related targets for pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium have been imposed as objectives or success criteria with their performance management.
The survey is being released as teachers at the NASUWT’s Annual Conference, which is being held in Cardiff, prepare to debate a motion on the pupil premium this weekend.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The NASUWT warned at the outset when the Pupil Premium was first introduced that, in the context of the Coalition’s savage austerity measures and its failure to protect school budgets despite its claims to the contrary, this funding would inevitably end up being absorbed into school budgets as the cuts bit.
“It is clear from the survey that teachers are continuing to do the very best for the pupils who are eligible for support from this funding, but are not seeing any extra resource in the classroom. To add insult to injury, their performance is being tied to hard pupil-progress targets with no support being provided to them.
“What is equally concerning is the failure to consult those working daily with the pupils about the strategies that are needed.
“Only when the professional opinion of those actually teaching the pupils is taken into account on how the funding can be most effectively used will real progress be made in closing the achievement gap for the most disadvantaged pupils.”