Just Sociology

Closing the Gap: Examining the Successes and Criticisms of Pupil Premium Funding

The Pupil Premium Funding (PPF) is a policy implemented by the UK government to assist pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their educational potential. This article will examine the PPF by discussing its allocation, permitted uses, and accountability measures in the first section.

The second section will explore the purpose and objectives of the policy and the target beneficiaries.

Allocation of funding per eligible pupil

The PPF is mainly available to schools in England, and the funding is allocated to each school to support every eligible child. Eligibility is based on various factors, such as children on Free School Meals (FSM), those adopted from care or looked after by the Local Authority; the amount of funding available is then attached to each pupil.

The government distributes the PPF to local authorities and academies across the country to cover the range of eligible pupils.

Permitted uses of funding

Once schools receive their funding, they are free to use the money to improve general teaching practices or offer targeted support for disadvantaged pupils. The PPF can also be used on a broader level, such as funding extracurricular activities and providing additional resources to support students.

The government provides guidance on what schools can use the funding for, and they encourage schools to review the impact of the funding using data and evidence-based methods.

Accountability

The government requires schools to publish online statements, indicating how they have used their PPF and the effect it has had on their students. This measure is in line with the government’s efforts to improve transparency and accountability in school finances.

Schools are also required to display their PPF strategy, which outlines how the funds will be used to tackle the educational underachievement of disadvantaged pupils.

Purpose and objectives of the policy

The PPF aims to address the educational underachievement of disadvantaged pupils while challenging and supporting schools to deliver high-quality education to all students regardless of their backgrounds. Research shows that pupils coming from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to fall behind in their studies than their wealthier counterparts.

The PPF aims to bridge this divide by providing schools with additional funding to support disadvantaged pupils. Furthermore, the policy also aims to alleviate material deprivation, the effects of which can have a substantial impact on childrens educational outcomes.

Material deprivation involves a lack of basic necessities such as accommodation, food, and clothing, which can all undermine educational achievement.

Target beneficiaries

The PPF targets children from disadvantaged backgrounds, specifically those eligible for FSM. These children come from families with low incomes, and they are more likely to underperform academically.

FSM children often miss out on educational opportunities due to financial constraints, which can further impact their long-term educational prospects.

In conclusion, the Pupil Premium Funding is a policy designed to support disadvantaged pupils in their education.

It aims to address the educational underachievement of such pupils and alleviate the impact of material deprivation on their lives. The funding is allocated per eligible pupil, and schools are required to publish statements of how they use the money to support disadvantaged pupils.

While the policy targets FSM children, it operates under the broader goal of promoting equal opportunities for all students regardless of their backgrounds. Topic 3: The Effectiveness of Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium Funding (PPF) is an important policy aimed at tackling educational underachievement among disadvantaged pupils in the UK.

As with most government policies, it is essential to evaluate its effectiveness in delivering the intended outcomes. This section will examine the positive outcomes, achievements, criticisms, and limitations of the PPF.

Positive outcomes and achievements

The PPF has led to a reduction in the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. In 2019, the PPF improved the attainment of disadvantaged pupils, with 64.7% of pupils on Free School Meals achieving the expected standard in reading, writing, and maths, compared to 76.5% of non-FSM pupils.

This demonstrates that the PPF is achieving its goal of closing the achievement gap, as pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are improving and catching up with their wealthier peers. Additionally, the PPF has enabled schools to provide additional support and resources to students, leading to improved educational outcomes.

Schools have used the funding to provide one-to-one support, smaller class sizes, personalized learning programs, and additional resources such as textbooks and IT equipment. These measures have resulted in improved academic achievement and progress for disadvantaged pupils, leading to higher levels of engagement, motivation and satisfaction with the school experience.

Criticisms and limitations

Despite the positive outcomes of the PPF, there have been criticisms and limitations of the policy. One major criticism is that it is used as a means of plugging school funding gaps rather than providing targeted support for disadvantaged pupils.

With school budgets under increasing pressure, there have been concerns that the PPF is being used to pay for resources and activities that would have been funded by the core budget in the past.

Another critique is that the PPF has been inefficient in supporting pupils due to the inappropriate use of Learning Assistants.

In many cases, these Learning Assistants did not have the necessary qualification and training to support pupils effectively, and this led to a waste of resources. A further limitation of the PPF is the lack of specificity in outlining the spending of the funding.

Some schools have been criticized for not detailing how they are using the funding to support disadvantaged pupils, leading to concerns about accountability and transparency. Topic 4: Links to A-level Sociology

The study of sociology plays an important role in understanding the impact of educational policies such as the Pupil Premium Funding.

This section will examine the links between the PPF and A-level sociology, particularly in relevance to educational policies and New Right approaches and the relationship to social class topics.

Relevance to educational policies and New Right approaches

The PPF was introduced by the Coalition Government in 2011, under the New Right philosophy. The New Right approach emphasizes parental choice, autonomy, and market mechanisms in education, with an emphasis on raising standards and accountability.

This approach aimed to end the state monopoly on education and open up the education system to competition and diversity. The PPF operates within this framework by providing schools with additional funds to support disadvantaged pupils while emphasizing accountability and transparency.

Relationship to social class topic

Sociologists have long argued that social class is a significant factor in educational achievement. Children from low-income families often face a range of barriers that hinder their educational progress such as material deprivation, social exclusion, and low aspirations.

The PPF targets these students by providing additional support and resources to schools in disadvantaged areas, attempting to level the playing field. Furthermore, the PPF addresses the concept of relative deprivation, which is the idea that people in deprived societies develop expectations about the quality of life that are influenced by their surroundings.

The PPF aims to bridge the gap between these expectations and the reality of educational attainment for disadvantaged pupils.

In conclusion, the Pupil Premium Funding has proven to be a successful policy in reducing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

However, there are criticisms surrounding the policy that must be addressed, such as the inappropriate use of Learning Assistants and the lack of specificity in outlining the spending of the funding. The PPF is relevant to educational policies and New Right approaches and is also related to social class topics such as material deprivation and relative deprivation.

Conclusion

The Pupil Premium Funding (PPF) has been successful in reducing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. The policy has enabled schools to provide additional support and resources to students, resulting in improved educational outcomes.

However, there have been criticisms and limitations, such as the inappropriate use of Learning Assistants and the lack of specificity in outlining the spending of the funding. The PPF is relevant to educational policies and New Right approaches and is also related to social class topics such as material deprivation and relative deprivation.

FAQs:

Q: What are the eligibility criteria for the Pupil Premium Funding?

A: Eligibility is based on factors such as children on Free School Meals (FSM), those adopted from care or looked after by the Local Authority.

Q: What are the permitted uses of the PPF?

A: Schools are free to use the funding to support general teaching practices or offer targeted support for disadvantaged pupils.

The PPF can also be used to fund extracurricular activities and provide additional resources to support students. Q: What accountability measures are in place for schools receiving PPF?

A: The government requires schools to publish online statements indicating how they have used their PPF and the effect it has had on their students. Q: What is the goal of Pupil Premium Funding?

A: The PPF aims to address the educational underachievement of disadvantaged pupils and alleviate the impact of material deprivation on their lives. Q: What is the New Right approach to education?

A: The New Right approach emphasizes parental choice, autonomy, and market mechanisms in education, with an emphasis on raising standards and accountability.

Q: What is relative deprivation in the context of the PPF?

A: Relative deprivation is the idea that people in deprived societies develop expectations about the quality of life that are influenced by their surroundings. The PPF aims to bridge the gap between these expectations and the reality of educational attainment for disadvantaged pupils.

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