Pupil premium: who’s getting the benefit? Guardian analysis of pupil premium figures

New analysis from the Office of David Lammy MP on the recipients of pupil premium was released last week and looked at by The Guardian’s Data Blog, ‘Pupil premium: who’s getting the benefit?’

According to the Department for Education, “the Pupil Premium for 2012-13 is allocated to local authorities and schools with pupils on roll in January 2012 that are known to have been eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any time in the last six years. Each of these pupils will attract £600. Schools will have the freedom to spend the Premium, which is additional to the underlying schools budget, in a way they think will best support the raising of attainment for the most vulnerable pupils. We urge schools and local authorities to encourage parents to register their child as eligible for FSM so that each school receives their maximum Pupil Premium entitlement.”

The analysis from the office of David Lammy MP, takes data for pupil premium distribution throughout the country in 2011/2012, and compares it to plans for 2012/13. As the premium, an additional £600 per child in extra school funding, is intended to benefit “England’s most disadvantaged pupils”, you might expect to see a trend towards poorer areas receiving more of the benefit.

However, the Guardian’s Jeevan Vasagar reports:

Buckinghamshire and Surrey are among the 10 areas where the pupil premium will increase the most this year, Lammy has found, while Tower Hamlets has one of the lowest percentage increases.

Government spending on the pupil premium has more than doubled in Buckinghamshire and Surrey this year. In both counties, 11% of children are living in poverty. In Tower Hamlets, where the pupil premium has gone up by 60%, over half of children are in poverty.

Further analysis takes the change in poverty levels for the regions and the collective change in the amount of pupil premium received by that region, and shows the relationship between the two in the following scatter plot:

                                                       Photograph: Graphic

The analyst states “the graph shows very clearly the relationship between high child poverty and low rise in pupil premium”.

The raw data can be accessed by clicking here.

Warwickshire’s pupil premium is expected to increase by £3,698,224 from 2011/12 to 2012/13 to £7,493,400 in 2012/13. As mentioned above, although the criteria for eligibility has widened over this year, Warwickshire see’s a 97.4% increase in pupil premium from the previous year, compared to the national average of 79.0%.

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