School funding and pupil premiumDate: 22.07.2019
Survey data shows the extent to which schools are having to make cuts:
- 69% of secondary senior leaders have reported having to make cuts to teaching staff for financial reasons, along with 70% for teaching assistants and 72% for support staff. 72% of primary school heads also report cutting teacher assistants. Growing numbers of secondary leaders report cutting IT equipment (61%), school outings (41%) and sport (28%). Almost half report cutting subject choices at GCSE (47%). Others report cutting back on classroom materials and CPD for teachers.
- One in four (27%) secondary school leaders report that their pupil premium funding is being used to plug gaps elsewhere in their budget. For those who do report it plugging gaps, most indicate it being used on teachers and teaching assistants, or absorbed into the general school budget.
- Just over half (55%) of school leaders feel that their pupil premium funding is helping to close attainment gaps in their school. Primary leaders (57%) are more likely that secondary (50%) to say so. While 15% disagree, 31% are neutral on the pupil premium’s impact in their school.
- Of those who disagree that it’s having an impact, teachers offer a variety of reasons, with many saying the funding is not enough to make an impact, or is being spent on other issues. Teachers also point out the difficulty in closing gaps given factors outside the school gates. Heads who reported having to plug budget gaps with their pupil premium funding were less likely to say that attainment gaps were closing (62% v 40%).