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By NASUWT, Jul 2 2015 01:08PM

Commenting on the report released today by the National Audit Office (NAO) on the pupil premium, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said:

“The concept of the pupil premium is a good one.

“However, when it was first introduced the NASUWT predicted that given the cuts to school budgets the funding would inevitably end up being absorbed into the general school budget, minimising its impact.

“A recent NASUWT survey on the use of the Pupil Premium found that over half of teachers did not know how the additional funding for Pupil Premium pupils is spent in their school and over a third had not been made aware what priorities their school had focused on to support pupils who attracted the pupil premium funding.

“In too many cases teachers were not seeing any extra resource in their classrooms.

“As the NAO highlights, the Pupil Premium has the potential to make a real difference to the most disadvantaged pupils, but the benefits are currently being hampered by the lack of scrutiny on how it is being funded and spent.

“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, there needs to be a clear system of monitoring its use and, above all, schools need to be funded appropriately to ensure the pupil premium is truly additional funding.”