Pupils during an English lesson
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Teather: Pupil premium 'changing the way schools think'

The Pupil Premium is widely seen as a cornerstone of the Coalition's education policy, held up by Conservatives and even more so by Liberal Democrats as proof of their commitment to raising standards among disadvantaged pupils.

But with the annual cost of the premium due to reach £2.5bn a year by 2014, there are growing questions about whether the policy will deliver the better results that ministers promise.

The Liberal Democrat MP and minister at the Department of Education Sarah Teather, said the policy is about "changing the whole way schools think".

Speaking to The World At One, she said there is a "scandalous gap" between those from poor backgrounds and those from wealthier backgrounds.

"[This is] about focusing money on the individual child regardless of where that child is," she told Martha Kearney.

Under the policy, by this September schools in England will get an extra £600 a year for every pupil in receipt of free school meals or in local authority care. Headteachers will be free to spend the money as they choose.

  • 22 Aug 2012