This is just a short post to point towards three important pieces of writing by Becky Allen from the IoE, following a review she has carried out of the impact of pupil premium. You can get the first post on the IoE Blog here, but all three actually can be found on her own blog site here:
- Pupil Premium (1): Do not measure attainment gaps
- Pupil Premium (2): Driving Short Term Behaviour and Interventions
- Pupil Premium (3): Can we close within-class inequalities?
Worth reading all three as they do summarise a lot of current academic thinking around the PP – it is not particularly political and as she is at pains to stress, this is not an argument to reduce the amount of funding to schools. I have argued elsewhere that the Pupil Premium, though arduous and heavily laid over with accountability guff that tends to reduce its impact, is one of the few genuinely good things that came from the coalition government, a proper response to the public need. One of the points Becky makes in here blogs is that the Blair-Brown government already weighted the budgets heavily towards the weakest children, and that the Pupil Premium added only slightly to that.
Our experience as a school is that because OFSTED have waded all over the PP with their size twelves, the accountability for “disadvantaged” children is distorting school in all sorts of ways. This is not the PP’s fault as an income stream. It results from fearful school leadership and local authority responses (MK are in panic mode on this!) to the accountability that comes with the PP. A good case of the government undermining the good they sought to do by heavy handed bureaucracy and unwarranted inspection.