To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring schools to provide on request to parents (a) a general outline of spending of Pupil Premium Plus funding and (b) information on where that funding has been pooled for the benefit of a cohort.
There are 2 types of pupil premium plus funding. Pupil premium plus for looked-after children is managed by the local authority’s Virtual School Head, and is separate from wider pupil premium plus funding for previously looked-after children. Pupil premium plus for previously looked-after children is paid directly to schools, and it is for them to decide how it should be used to raise the attainment of all eligible pupils.
Guidance for schools on the use of pupil premium plus can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/designated-teacher-for-looked-after-children. The guidance states that, for previously looked-after children, ‘the designated teacher should work closely with their parents and guardians as they will understand their child’s needs better than anyone else. The designated teacher should make themselves known to parents as someone they can talk to about issues affecting their child’s education’. The guidance is clear that parents and guardians ‘should be encouraged to participate in discussions about their child’s support needs and strategies to meet identified needs, including how pupil premium plus should be used to support their child’.
School Information Regulations and Funding Agreements require schools to publish their strategy for using the pupil premium. The requirements include identifying barriers to learning and setting out how these will be addressed. As individual needs will differ, the strategy that should cover both the pupil premium for economically disadvantaged pupils and pupil premium plus for looked-after and previously looked-after pupils needs to be flexible and responsive, and can allow funding to be combined to increase its effectiveness.
Owing to the low numbers of looked-after and previously looked-after pupils in schools, it would not be appropriate, nor permitted under data protection law, to publish separate strategy details that could identify them.
We have given a commitment in our concluding publication on the Children in Need review to work in conjunction with the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care and the Education Endowment Foundation to support schools in making best use of pupil premium, including pupil premium plus, to identify and bring together best practice for the education of the most disadvantaged children.