Pupil Premium at risk

The Pupil Premium is a system designed to invest more in areas where there is greatest need.  At a time when Covid has exposed the growing extent of child poverty, the logic of Pupil Premium means that greater investment in teaching must be made to support their needs – unless, apparently, the Department for Education changes the rules.

Just when the eligibility for free school meals (the metric used to calculate the Pupil Premium) is increasing (up by more than 100,000), the Department for Learning to Save Money has decided to calculate the schools budget from data before the recent upsurge.

Naturally, the Department for Depriving the Deprived, objects to this dismal characterisation.  The Children’s Minister, Vicky Ford, says the change “won’t make a huge difference” – which begs the question – why have they done it?  The Department for Hiding their Homework were asked to show their working, but refused to release it, claiming it “could harm the department’s reputation in regard to the accuracy and credibility of the statistical information it produces”.

This government’s Department for Protecting its Reputation (DfPR) and its specialist unit for Hiding Behind Smoke and Mirrors (HBS&M) will no doubt be delighted to learn that our children are getting a first-class education in deception and creative accounting.

There is, of course, always a bigger picture and it usually pays to ask those trained to open young minds and discover the realities of life – in this case teachers.  Today’s Times Educational Supplement does a grand job of reporting double-diddle bookkeeping and the money magically found (apparently) down the back of a sofa in the Department for Shifting Goalposts.

* David Brunnen is media liaison officer for Fareham Liberal Democrats. He writes on Municipal Autonomy, Intelligent Communities, Sustainability & Digital Challenges.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Steve Trevethan 21st May '21 - 9:41am

    Thank you for an interesting and important article!
    You might find the the book « The Assault on Truth «  by Peter Oborne, which gives detailed accounts of the institutional mendacity of the Johnson government, informative and disturbingly interesting.
    The writings of Nel Noddings on putting the interests of students ahead of those who are paid to (allegedly in too many cases) care for them and THEIR interests.

  • Peter Hirst 25th May '21 - 6:07pm

    Helping disadvantaged children to catch up on their peers is one of the most effective ways of both improving the skills base of the country and fostering a more cohesive society.

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