To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to close the attainment gap between boys who are eligible for free school meals and other pupils in Birkenhead.
The Government has spent over £11 billion since 2011 through the pupil premium to tackle educational inequality. Over 91 per cent of pupils attracting the pupil premium are or were eligible for free school meals. Over 4,300 pupils in Birkenhead are eligible for the pupil premium and this year their schools are receiving more than £5.2 million through it.
The Department expects schools to use this extra funding effectively. Ofsted has published three reports on the effective use of the pupil premium, and the Department has provided the Education Endowment Foundation with £137 million to expand the evidence base on what works best to raise the attainment of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Department has published a study of schools with high success rates for disadvantaged pupils and maintains a list of independent experts qualified to review the effectiveness of a school’s pupil premium strategy.