Over half of teachers do not know how the additional funding their school receives under the Pupil Premium is being spent, a new survey by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has found.

The survey, which had over 2,600 responses from teachers in England, found teachers are being held to account for the outcomes of pupils eligible for support from the Pupil Premium, but in many cases the additional funding has not found its way to the classroom and teachers have had little control over the way in which the funding is used in their school.

The overall picture in terms of whole-school communication and support for staff in utilising the Pupil Premium funding has not improved significantly since last year’s survey by the NASUWT.

The 2016 survey found that:

  • over half (53%) of teachers do not know how the additional funding for Pupil Premium pupils is spent;

  • almost nine out of ten (87%) teachers have not received specific training on teaching and learning strategies for pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium;

  • over two thirds of teachers (70%) stated that the whole school Pupil Premium strategies have not been discussed or reviewed with staff;

  • over half (56%) of teachers are given specific targets for Pupil Premium pupils without specific strategic support plans;

  • nearly two thirds (65%) say they are required to track, monitor and report on the progress of pupils eligible for Pupil Premium in addition to other reporting procedures;

  • over a third (37%) state that data-related targets for pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium have been imposed as objectives or success criteria with their performance management;

  • nearly a third (32%) have not been made aware what priorities their school has focused on to support Pupil Premium pupils;

  • well over half (59%) say that the Pupil Premium strategies in the school create extra workload for teachers;

  • over half (53%) said that their school devises the strategies to be used with pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium, as opposed to working with individual teachers.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“It is clear that there is still a profound lack of transparency about how the Pupil Premium is being allocated within schools.

“It is also clear that many of the teachers who are working daily with the pupils eligible for the funding cannot see any evidence of extra resource in the classroom or how the funding is being used to support their work or the pupils.

“To add insult to injury, despite not being supported teachers are increasingly being monitored and assessed on the work they are doing to support pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium.

“The NASUWT has warned repeatedly that the Government’s failure to protect school budgets in real-terms since 2010 would lead inevitably to the Pupil Premium being absorbed into school budgets to assist schools in making ends meet.

“The Pupil Premium has the potential to make a real difference to the most disadvantaged pupils, but it is clear that far too many have yet to reap any benefit from this funding.

“This is yet another example of how the free-for all the Government has created continues to disadvantage pupils and teachers.

“If real progress is to be made in closing the achievement gap for the most disadvantaged pupils, then those actually teaching the pupils need to be consulted on its use. In addition, there needs to be a clear system of monitoring put in place. Above all there needs to be investment in schools to enable them to provide for all the children and young people in their care.”

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