Schoolzone blog: Do you know your PP pupils?

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28 May 2015

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That's not a stutter, but a question about Pupil Premium.

We've reflected on Pupil Premium in these pages before (search via the box above) - are schools spending it correctly? Is it a good way to distribute the money? Do schools have more cash as a result of PP? (Answer generally seeming to be no in each case).

Anyway, we noticed that in one of our recent surveys, over 800 teachers told us the percentage of PP pupils in their schools - or at least what they thought was the percentage. But, because we know which schools most of our teachers work in, we decided to check, using our Educational Intelligence data. The results were very surprising.

Around 80% of teachers think that they have fewer PP pupils than the school actually has. This is roughly the same for primary and secondary teachers. Only 14% got the proportion in the right range.

In the sample, the average PP proportions were 28% at primary and 23% at secondary, but both sets of teachers typically think they have just 10% - so primary teachers are further out than secondary, which is particularly surprising given the relative sizes of the schools.

As you may infer from the opening sentences above, PP funding is not without its critics, and these tend to point out that the funding isn't be used to support the right pupils in schools. The findings of this short study tend to imply that teachers are broadly very unaware of the numbers of pupils attracting this funding. And this suggests that schools aren't doing much to bring them to the attention of staff.

Maybe that's not a bad thing, but if schools were allocating the quite considerable funding (average £63,000 per primary and £90,000 per secondary school in this sample) for the benefit of the one in four for whom it was intended, shouldn't teachers be more aware of who is on the receiving end?

Primary estimates:

Range OK
Don’t know

Secondary estimates:

High guess
Low guess
Range OK
Don’t Know



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