The Department for Education has published the findings of an independent evaluation of the Pupil Premium, which aims to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. The funding was worth £623 per pupil in the 2012/13 school year, with approximately 27% of pupils eligible. This report is based on a survey of schools during the Autumn term of 2012 to collect quantitative information and financial data, case studies, and analysis of the National Pupil Database.
It is too early to measure impact, but the report gives an overview of how the funding is being used. Over 60% of schools surveyed reported reduced overall budgets between 2010-11 and 2011-12. Over 90% of schools surveyed had been focused on supporting disadvantaged pupils before the introduction of the Pupil Premium. Over 80% reported that the Pupil Premium alone was not enough to fund this support, and many pooled the funding with other budgets. Since its introduction about 70% of schools had increased such expenditure.
All schools were offering a wide range of support to help pupils they considered to be disadvantaged. The biggest areas of expenditure focused on learning in the curriculum, and social, emotional, and behavioural support. Of 11 types of support listed, primary schools offered 8 on average, and secondary schools 9.3. The four most highly used (reported by over 90% of both primaries and secondaries) were additional support both inside and outside the classroom, additional staff, and curriculum-related school trips. The range of support has been built up over time, not introduced since Pupil Premium funding began. Over 45% of schools based their decisions on how to spend funding on academic research, and almost all schools surveyed (95% or more) said they were monitoring the impact.
Source: Evaluation of Pupil Premium: Research Report (2013), Department for Education.