Commenting on the Sutton Trust’s survey of teachers about the use of the Pupil Premium, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“What is abundantly clear from this survey is that teachers know what works. It ought to come as no surprise that teachers think any additional money should be used to help reduce class sizes. Successive education secretaries have been told time and time again that a smaller class size means greater attention for every pupil and can only help to improve attainment.
“The NUT of course supports using the best educational methods backed by research - this includes the research which points to releasing teachers from bureaucratic burdens to allow them to concentrate on teaching.
“The reality, however, is that the Pupil Premium will not compensate schools for the real terms funding losses the Government is imposing. Furthermore, the Pupil Premium is distributed unevenly across schools and is not of a sufficient size to enable schools to invest appropriately in learning. Teachers are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.
“Achievement for the disadvantaged remains a crucial issue, with poverty at its root. The education systems with the lowest gap in achievement between rich and poor are those in societies where the gap in wealth between rich and poor is smallest. This is why the NUT supports campaigning groups like the Child Poverty Action Group and those fighting for tax justice, such as the Robin Hood Tax.
“We want every child to be able to do their best - and that also requires efforts by Government and others to support teachers and challenge poverty.”
For further information contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061