Sheffield schools set to receive £25m from premium

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Sheffield’s share of the national Pupil Premium fund – which targets funding towards disadvantaged youngsters – is to rise to almost 
£25 million during the next academic year.

The figure is up by more than £6 million on this year’s total and is shared among schools across the city.

Schools which will benefit the most in 2014-15 include Hinde House School in Shiregreen and Firth Park Community College, which will receive £639,220 and £609,620 respectively.

The premium was introduced as a flagship Liberal Democrat policy after the Coalition came to power in 2010.

Funding directly targeted to schools in disadvantaged areas was scrapped and replaced by the new system, which instead allocated funds to pupils from poorer backgrounds.

It means schools in better-off areas can receive a share of the cash – and it does not have to be spent directly on individual children.

The fund is worth £935 for each disadvantaged pupil in 2014/15 and spending is controlled by local headteachers.

Schools have used funds for catch-up classes, one-to-one tuition and extra IT support.

Next year’s total is almost four times more than the 
£6.5 million allocated in the first year of 2011/12.

Coun Colin Ross, Sheffield Lib Dem education spokesman, said: “The premium is working and standards are improving at schools across the country as the attainment gap narrows between the poorest pupils and their wealthier peers. It is crucial for a fairer society every pupil has a good start, where success or failure is not determined by the income of his or her parents.”

Labour argues the premium is not enough to redress other cuts made to school budgets.