Today the Catholic Education Service (CES) welcomed the OFSTED review of Pupil Premiums as an opportunity for the Government to ensure disadvantaged children receive the additional support.
Currently Pupil Premiums are calculated using the number of children receiving Free School Meals. Annual census data from Catholic schools in England show that the number of children receiving Free School Meals does not reflect the proportion of children from deprived areas highlighted by the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI).
IDACI data provided by the Department for Education highlights that despite a lower than average take-up of Free School Meals in Catholic schools, 19% of Catholic Pupil (compared with 14% nationally) come from the most deprived 10% of areas. Likewise the data shows that Catholic schools have consistently smaller proportions of pupils from least deprived areas.
The CES is keen to promote a pupil premium calculated from a number of indicators which take into consideration addition indicators including Free Schools Meals and IDACI.
Greg Pope, Deputy Director of CES said “We support the government’s aim to ensure that funding for children from disadvantaged families is available to support them in their education. This review provides the Department for Education with the opportunity to evaluate how Pupil Premiums are calculated to ensure that all children from disadvantaged backgrounds will receive this support. A basket of indicators is preferable as our evidence highlights that there are many children from deprived areas who, for whatever reason, do not take up Free School Meals.”