How should the Pupil Premium be spent?

England’s most disadvantaged pupils are benefiting from an extra £600 each following last year’s increase in the ‘Pupil Premium’ by £112 for each pupil.

The premium, worth £1.25 billion in total, provides additional funding on top of the main funding a school receives and targets pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure they get the same opportunities as other pupils.

The amount varies between areas to ensure more money is available for lower funded authorities so the same amount of funding is available for deprived children no matter where they are.

Commentators have suggested that schools should be given guidance on how to spend the money. Guardian columnist, Jonathan Clifton, says that ‘politicians have focused on the size of the pupil premium, but have largely ignored the question of what it should be spent on’.

One area that schools should consider spending some of their premium on is drama and the arts in order to help children with behavioural problems.

According to recent studies, drama and the arts is one of the most exciting ways for helping children to become motivated and engaged.

Teachers say that their most difficult children became far less aggressive when they were involved in the arts in any form.

Creating the right school and classroom ethos in which the arts can flourish is key, including having a range of activities like story telling, song, movement and theatre.

Stephen Huckle, Managing Director of Unistage, said: “It is important to find an effective balance of drama as a subject, and for teachers to be aware of how to use theatre effectively and skilfully as a tool.

“There’s nothing that encourages drama in schools more than modular staging because it helps to create a more realistic environment as well as making the children feel more involved.

“The design means it can be rebuilt in as many different ways or combinations as you like, starting from a simple stage, and adding more and more modules as needed.”

Unistage staging is fully guaranteed against faults, manufacture or workmanship for 10 years. All frames have undergone strict testing to ensure strength and stability.