Half of teachers do not know how fund for disadvantaged pupils is spent

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MORE THAN half of teachers have no idea how additional Government funding aimed at helping disadvantaged pupils is being spent, according to the UK’s largest teaching union.

The NASUWT has claimed its findings show “a profound lack of transparency” on how the pupil premium is allocated in state-funded schools in England.

In a survey of 2,600 members, the union said teachers also reported that while they were being held to account for the classroom performance of funding-aided pupils, they felt they had little control over how it was used.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT said many teachers who are working daily with eligible pupils “cannot see any evidence of extra resource in the classroom”.

She said the union had repeatedly warned the Government over the risk of the pupil premium being used in unprotected school budgets to help “make ends meet”. The premium is allocated to raise the attainment of disadvantaged youngsters.

Ms Keates said: “It is clear that there is still a profound lack of transparency about how the pupil premium is being allocated within schools.” A Department for Education spokesman said: “The pupil premium – worth £2.5 billion this year, is helping the most disadvantaged pupils and closing the attainment gap at both primary and secondary level.

“We are taking further action to improve the effectiveness of pupil premium spending by helping schools to set out the rationale for their spending and how the impact will be measured.

“Schools will continue to be held to account for using the pupil premium effectively through performance tables and Ofsted inspection.”

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