Let’s hear it for the Lib Dem pupil premium: but don’t expect overnight miracles from it

by Stephen Tall on December 20, 2012

Excellent news from Lib Dem schools minister David Laws yesterday, with the announcement of how much Pupil Premium money each school in England will receive in 2013/14:

“Liberal Democrats are building a strong economy and a fair society where everyone can get ahead. Education is absolutely at the heart of that. The Pupil Premium is extra support for the children who need it the most, whether it is catch-up classes, one-to-one tuition, extra IT support – whatever the school thinks best. Helping the most disadvantaged children helps every child. Fewer children falling behind means less disruption in class and a better education for everyone.”

In Oxfordshire, for example, this will mean an additional £13.4m for low-income pupils — that’s over £800 a year per child. However, as I’ve noted before, The pupil premium isn’t a quick-fix solution, it’s a long-haul policy:

… real, enduring change takes longer, and needs the collaboration of both policy-makers and those delivering public services. The pupil premium is an important part of that approach, providing schools with the resources they need to make changes that can improve the lives of the children who need it most. But it’s going to take time to make a real difference.