So, yer pupil premium. S&P, 24th October pointed out that it’s not new money and that some of it’s funded out of the welfare cuts, and also that the state school sector as a whole is under pressure due to more kids.
Via the New Statesman, it turns out that the state school sector is, indeed, under pressure due to more kids and that therefore, a flat budget plus £2.5bn pupil premium equals a 2.5% real terms cut per annum.
Another problem is that the pupil premium consists of sending extra cash for each child who gets free school meals. However, it’s actually quite rare for there to be enough kids on free school meals in a given school for this to add up to anything other than a cut. 84% of secondary schools don’t have enough FSM kids to outweigh the cut in their basic budget.
So yes, as we thought, the premium comes from shuffling funds around between schools. Obviously, education cuts with some protection for the poorest 16% of schools are less bad than without. The poorest kids scattered through the other 84%, though, are getting less than nothing.