A pupil premium under Con-Lib Dem coalition

11 May 2010

Michael Gove (on BBC News Channel) has just indicated that talks with the Lib Dems are going well and have included discussion on 'reform to our education system, particularly for our poorest children'.

This is clearly a reference to the pupil premium, one of the few areas of agreement between the Tory and Lib Dem manifestos.

However, while a system of extra funds for schools that take on poorer pupils would be welcome to inner city schools, some big questions remain. 

 First, how does this differ from the existing funding system, which already offers a pupil premium for those on free school meals.

 The second question is where will the money come from. The Liberal Democrats costed their pupil premium at £2.5billion. But £1billion of that would come from efficiency savings in the DCSF and in education quangos.

 The Conservatives did not put a price on their pupil premium. They were already planning to cut education bureaucracy and quangos. But if they are to agree to a Lib Dem style pupil premium they will have to find even bigger savings. Where will these come from? 

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