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Education representatives questioned on the Pupil Premium

17 July 2015

The Public Accounts Committee holds a session on the Pupil Premium on Tuesday 21 July at 1pm.


Tuesday 21 July, Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster

At 1pm

  • Sharon Hollows, Principal, Charter Academy
  • Alexis Widdowson, Headteacher, Berwick Academy


  • Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary, Department for Education (DfE)
  • Juliet Chua, Director, Post 16 Disadvantaged Group, DfE
  • Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation

Purpose of session

In this session the Public Accounts Committee scrutinises whether the Pupil Premium is helping to improve disadvantaged pupils' attainment and examines the current accountability and intervention mechanisms for this funding. The Committee hears evidence from head teachers, the Department for Education, and from the Education Endowment Foundation, an independent charity.


The National Audit Office (NAO) report raised concerns regarding the identification of disadvantaged pupils, particularly with the introduction of Universal Infant Free School Meals and Universal Credit. Ofsted has expressed concern about provision for disadvantaged pupils in 8% of primary schools and 21% of secondary schools it inspected between September and December 2014. 

There are particular risks around some of the approaches schools most commonly use. The NAO estimates that schools have spent an extra £430 million on teaching assistants since the introduction of the Pupil Premium; a high-cost approach, while other low-cost interventions are used too infrequently, with just 25% using peer-to-peer learning.

Further information 

Image: iStockphoto

Video: Parliamentary copyright