30% of head teachers say the Pupil Premium is being used to plug gaps in their school’s budget, according to polling published by the Sutton Trust.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of secondary school heads polled said that their school had cut back on teaching staff to save money. This comes after a report by the National Audit Office found schools in England are facing cuts of £3 billion by 2020.
The Pupil Premium, introduced by the Liberal Democrats in coalition government, has succeeded in halving the gap between poorer and richer pupils in those secondary schools who used it to the best effect.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary John Pugh commented:
“Conservative cuts to education spending are damaging the life chances of children across the country.
“The pupil premium has played a crucial role in closing the gap between poorer pupils and their peers. Now this progress is being undone as schools struggle with a shortage of teachers and a growing black hole in their budgets.
“While the Government wastes billions on pet projects like free schools, disadvantaged children are being left on the scrapheap. It makes a mockery of Theresa May’s claim to be building a country that works for everyone.”
Dr Alan Bullion, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Sevenoaks & Swanley said: “My recent conversations with local head teachers confirm that as with health and social welfare, existing resources are being stretched to the limit due to Tory budget cuts. Parents are now being asked to pay for basics like new textbooks. This is clearly unsustainable and cannot continue.”
For better funding schools and a more caring Kent County Council, vote Lib Dem on Thursday May 4th.