A change to the reporting of students eligible for Pupil Premium means many schools in areas of severe disadvantage will miss out on badly needed funds as they look to recover from the pandemic. SHINE supports calls to the government to review this decision, so that students from low-income homes are not disadvantaged even further.
The Pupil Premium has long been a valuable mechanism for ensuring that the needs of the most disadvantaged students can be met within the education system. The additional funding assists schools in delivering the support and resources needed for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It helps these young people to engage with their education and make the most of the opportunities available to them.
In the long term, we know that maximising educational potential for all students provides the most significant opportunity to change life chances and create a fairer society.
We also know that disadvantage is not uniform, nor evenly distributed geographically. Research has shown that schools that serve communities with the highest levels of long-term, entrenched disadvantage face tremendous challenges. SHINE has called previously for increased funding, targeted geographically, for the schools that serve the most deprived communities.
Many of the challenges faced by families and students in these communities have been amplified and exacerbated by the pandemic. And increasing numbers of schools have reported that they are using their Pupil Premium funding to plug budgetary gaps.