The pupil premium sounds a great idea. More funding directly targeted at students on free school meals, who overall achieve far less well in exams, makes obvious sense.
But it seems that, whatever it says, this is not what the coalition is planning. The only people I can find that seem to understand the details proposed, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, have this to say:
"Furthermore, given the scale of the likely cuts in departmental spending to be announced next Wednesday, it seems likely that overall school funding will be cut in real terms. If such cuts are shared equally across schools, then the pupil
premium could (depending on its final size, and on the cuts to the overall budget) lead to a net result where schools in affluent areas see their funding go up, on average, while schools in deprived areas experience cuts in funding." (Full briefing here
The reason is that instead of simply providing a set funding per FSM student, the coalition is targetting more of the funding to the less deprived areas. Seems bizarre. Is this another example of the government saying one thing and doing the opposite?