New research has revealed the amount of pupil premium funding allocated to secondary schools across England, and the proportions of pupils within those schools eligible to receive the grant
Introduced in 2011, the pupil premium is designed to help schools close the attainment gap between children from low-income households and their peers, helping to overcome challenges that students might have in terms of language and communication skills, attendance and punctuality and self-confidence.
In a study conducted by exam revision course provider Justin Craig Education information was gathered to discover the numbers of secondary school students eligible to receive pupil premium and the amount spent by each school covered by relevant LEA during the 2017-18 year.
The research showed that 38% of pupils in secondary schools covered by London LEAs were eligible for pupil premium funding, compared to just 21% in the wider south east. London secondary schools were allocated almost £150 million during the year.
Excluding London, over a third of pupils (34%) in schools covered by LEAs within the north east were eligible for pupil premium funding, resulting in a total allocation of £42 million in pupil premium spend. Schools covered by LEAs in the north west were allocated the most funding – £122,573,818 in total.
LEAs with the largest allocations of pupil premium funding during 2017-2018 were:
- Birmingham – £29,729,416.
- Kent – £17,742,093.
- Essex – £16,101,713.
- Lancashire – £15,109,016.
- Manchester – £13,002,811.
A number of London LEAs had a majority of their students eligible for pupil premium, including Islington (69%), Tower Hamlets (64%) and Newham (56%).
Outside London, more than half of pupils (52%) covered by Manchester LEA were eligible for pupil premium, with similar figures for Middlesbrough LEA (48%) and Birmingham LEA (47%).
At the other end of the scale, just 10% of pupils at secondary schools in the Isles of Scilly were eligible for pupil premium, with 14% of pupils in both Rutland and Buckinghamshire eligible.
“It’s really interesting to see exactly where the funding is being allocated and which places within England are putting the focus of their budget on education,” says Stephen Moore, director of operations at Justin Craig.
“As we all know, the education of the younger generations is the most vital attribute to maintaining a future for our country, so it’s great to see funding is going to those that really need the extra help. It would be interesting to see exactly what the funding goes on and if this is helping our children in the best way possible.”