Policy paper

2010 to 2015 government policy: education of disadvantaged children

Updated

This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/raising-the-achievement-of-disadvantaged-children. Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.

Issue

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are far less likely to get good GCSE results. Attainment statistics published in January 2014 show that in 2013 37.9% of pupils who qualified for free school meals got 5 GCSEs, including English and mathematics at A* to C, compared with 64.6% of pupils who do not qualify.

We believe it is unacceptable for children’s success to be determined by their social circumstances. We intend to raise levels of achievement for all disadvantaged pupils and to close the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.

The government is also committed to ending child poverty by 2020 by helping disadvantaged children outside of school.

Actions

To raise the achievement of all disadvantaged pupils, we are:

  • providing £2.5 billion of pupil premium funding to schools in the financial year 2014 to 2015, and increasing this funding to £2.545 billion in 2015 to 2016
  • requiring schools to publish details online each year of how they are using the pupil premium and the impact it is having
  • holding schools to account for the achievement of disadvantaged pupils through Ofsted inspections and performance tables
  • ensuring schools making unsatisfactory progress seek expert help by undertaking a pupil premium review
  • investing £136 million through the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to help schools raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils
  • promoting effective practice through a teaching and learning toolkit produced by EEF
  • making up to £50 million available for the summer schools programme from 2012

Background

Pupil premium

In April 2011, we introduced the pupil premium and the service premium. This gave schools £625 million of extra funding to close attainment gaps for disadvantaged pupils and to assist with the pastoral needs of children with parents in the armed forces.

Pupil premium funding has increased year on year. We will spend £2.545 billion in the 2015 to 2016 financial year.

We published an independent evaluation of the pupil premium in July 2013.

Ofsted have published 3 reviews on how schools are spending pupil premium funding:

In June 2013, Ofsted also published ‘Unseen children: access and achievement 20 years on’, which provides a comprehensive review of the current pattern of disadvantage and educational success across England.

Summer schools

In September 2011, the Deputy Prime Minister announced the annual summer schools programme. The scheme supports disadvantaged pupils as they move from primary to secondary school. The summer schools programme 2014 opened on 4 February 2014.

We published an independent evaluation of the summer schools programme in June 2013.

Impact

The pupil premium is designed to address inequality by giving every school and teacher the resources they need to help their most disadvantaged pupils, allowing them the freedom to respond appropriately to individual circumstances. Further information is set out in the equality impact assessment on ‘The importance of teaching’ white paper, published in December 2010.

Who we’re working with

We are funding and evaluating several projects through the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

The EEF is a registered, independent charity. They provide guidance on how best to use the pupil premium and have produced a toolkit for teachers and schools.

Appendix 1: service premium

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The service premium gives schools extra funding to support children and young people with parents in the armed forces. Pupils attract the premium if they meet the following criteria:

  • one of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces
  • one of their parents served in the regular armed forces in the last 3 years
  • one of their parents died while serving in the armed forces and the pupil is in receipt of a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and the War Pensions Scheme (WPS)

For the financial years 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015, schools will receive £300 per eligible pupil.

The service premium is paid to schools as they are best placed to identify eligible pupils and assess what additional provision they need. Schools are responsible for using the service premium funding effectively.

Appendix 2: pupil premium

This was a supporting detail page of the main policy document.

The pupil premium gives schools extra funding to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils from reception to year 11.

We introduced a fund of £625 million in April 2011 to give schools £400 per year for children who:

  • were registered as eligible for free school meals
  • had been looked after for 6 months or longer

From April 2012, we extended pupil premium funding to children eligible for free school meals at any point in the past 6 years. For the 2015 to 2016 financial year, funding for the pupil premium has increased to £2.545 billion. Schools will receive:

  • £1,320 per pupil of primary-school age
  • £935 per pupil of secondary-school age
  • £1,900 per pupil who:
    • has been looked after for 1 day or more
    • has been adopted from care
    • has left care under a special guardianship order, a residence order or a child arrangements order

School accountability for the pupil premium

The pupil premium is paid to schools as they are best placed to assess what additional provision their pupils need.

Ofsted inspections report on how schools’ use of the funding affects the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.

We also hold schools to account through performance tables, which include data on:

  • the attainment of the pupils who attract the funding
  • the progress made by these pupils
  • the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers

We reward schools whose use of the pupil premium has significantly improved the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils with Pupil Premium Awards.