At Prime Minister’s Questions today Teresa urged David Cameron to widen the criteria for the Pupil Premium beyond children on free school meals, to ensure that schools in Erith and Thamesmead are not underfunded.
The Government has decided that the Pupil Premium will be given only to children who receive free school meals. This means many disadvantaged children in places like Erith and Thamesmead whose parents are waiting to have their immigration status settled will not be counted, because they are not eligible for free school meals. It could mean local schools are underfunded, unless the criterion for the Pupil Premium is widened to capture pupils in this situation.
“Under the Government’s plans for the Pupil Premium, many poor children attending schools in Erith and Thamesmead will not be counted. This means our schools are at risk of being under-funded, and that matters for all children, parents and teachers.
“I asked the Prime Minister for a meeting with the Education Secretary to discuss how we can ensure disadvantaged children whose parents’ immigration status is not settled will be counted in the Pupil Premium. This will ensure our schools will get the right amount of funding based on how many people from disadvantaged backgrounds actually attend the school.
“I’ll also be writing to Head Teachers at local schools to see how many of their pupils they think will be missed by the Pupil Premium and for their input ahead of the meeting with the Education Secretary to raise this important issue.”