Pupil premium rates to rise by 5% from April

Increases of £70 per child at primary and £50 at secondary will help 'embed tutoring in schools long-term', government said

Increases of £70 per child at primary and £50 at secondary will help 'embed tutoring in schools long-term', government said

The amount of extra money schools get to support their poorest pupils will rise by five per cent next year, as part of the £2.3 billion funding boost announced at the autumn statement.

The Department for Education told Schools Week that pupil premium rates will increase from April by £70 for primary pupils (from £1,385 to £1,455 per child) and £50 for secondary (from £985 to £1,035).

The rates for looked-after children will rise by £120 (from £2,410 to £2,530).

The government said this amounts to a £180 million uplift in overall funding, taking its pupil premium spend to £2.9 billion.

A press release stated this will help in “supporting schools to raise educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. The increase will support schools to continue using high quality tutoring as a key means of targeted support for the children who need it most, and embed tutoring in schools long-term.”

Pupil premium is paid for all pupils who claim free school meals, or who have claimed free meals in the last six years.

While rates have risen by a total of around five per cent across the past few years, the amount schools received did not change at all between 2015-16 and 2019-20. Inflation is also currently sitting at 10.7 per cent.

Professor Becky Francis, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), welcomed the news, but said the organisation wanted a real terms increase. 

“Tackling entrenched education inequality – and the factors behind it – is the biggest test our education system faces,” she said.

“While today’s announcement is no doubt welcome, we mustn’t forget that tackling education inequality is a long-term challenge that requires concerted and multi-faceted efforts. Schools can – and do – a lot to mitigate the effects of poverty on learning and development, but they cannot do it alone.”

The change was announced in a press release issued yesterday, stating that the extra funding announced at the Autumn statement will be paid via a grant. Details of allocations are set to be published today.

Government announced a £2.3 billion funding boost for schools last month, but just £2 billion is new cash.

A typical primary school with 200 pupils will get approximately £28,000 extra, and secondary schools with around 900 pupils will receive approximately £170,000 more.

Of the extra funding, £400 million will go to councils’ high needs budgets. Government said today that special schools and alternative provision will receive an average 3.4 per cent per place increase in their funding in 2023-24.

Ministers previously promised special schools would get increases passed on, after Schools Week revealed councils had kept millions.

But details of how this will work have still to be published.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the overall funding increase would return real-terms spending per-pupil back to 2010 levels.

But a recent report added that “no net growth in school spending per pupil over a 14-year period still represents a significant squeeze on school resources”.

The names of 239 of the 500 schools to be rebuilt will also be named today.

Under the government’s school rebuilding programme, 500 schools will get full or partial rebuilds over a ten year period.

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