Magazine article Public Finance

Pupil Premiums Will Not Bridge the Educational Divide, Says IFS

Magazine article Public Finance

Pupil Premiums Will Not Bridge the Educational Divide, Says IFS

Article excerpt

Conservative and Liberal Democrat policies to reduce the educational attainment gap between rich and poor pupils are unlikely to make much difference, experts have warned.

In an analysis published on March 2, the Institute for Fiscal Studies reviewed the 'pupil premium', as proposed in different forms by both parties. This involves paying schools to take on children from poorer backgrounds. The IFS said this policy would have a 'modest' impact on the performance gap between schoolchildren from rich and poor backgrounds.

There is a very big gap in attainment between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils so this is unlikely to change it completely,' said report author and research economist Ellen Greaves. The study found there was little evidence from around the world linking extra resources with better grades at school. Other policies relating to home environment, family life and health were likely to have more influence.

Pupils from wealthy families were twice as likely to achieve five good GCSEs (at grades A* to C) as those from poor backgrounds, the report said.

Pupil premiums were seen as a way of bridging this divide. …

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