Higher pupil premium funding will impact schools budgets


Higher pupil premium funding for schools in 2013/14 will have a significant impact on the way schools spend their budgets, according to new research from the British Educational Suppliers’ Association (BESA).

More than one third (39 per cent) of primary schools and more than half (57 per cent) of secondary schools expect to change their current spending patterns as a result of Government plans to boost Pupil Premium funding to £900 per pupil in 2013/14, boosting expenditure in primary schools by up to £95 million and £103 million in secondary schools.

Schools are most likely to use the funding to finance small group support, followed by one-to-one teaching provision, while more than a quarter of primary and a third of secondary schools say that they expect to invest in new classroom resources.

Encouragingly the survey of 432 English maintained schools (263 primary and 169 secondary) conducted in March 2013 found that more than half of schools have already carried out needs assessments of their pupils, and the majority of the remaining schools expect to spend part of their pupil premium allocation to assess pupil needs during 2013/14 (8 per cent primary and 15 per cent secondary).

The research also identified that in terms of allocation of funding, 93 per cent of primary and 94 per cent of secondary schools stated that there will be anything from a little provision to extensive provision of funding for classroom resources. This was broken down further, with 91 per cent of schools stating that these resources would be in the form of reading books and printed material, 68 per cent of schools intending to spend at least a little allocation of the funds on digital content and software, and 64 per cent of schools considering allocating some of the Pupil Premium budget to ICT hardware.

Schools appear comfortable with their pupil premium spending plans, with 78 per cent of schools saying that they will not need to change their planned allocations despite the requirement for Ofsted to inspect pupil premium spending within individual schools.

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