Professor Anna Vignoles discusses the pupil premium on BBC Radio 4
Compared to richer children, poorer children consistently perform worse at school and achieve lower grades at age 16. In 2011, schools in England adopted the pupil premium policy. This meant that extra funding was attached to each child in receipt of free school meals.
Professor Vignoles explained her position: "Schools are using the pupil premium in different ways and there is no doubt they rely on the income. However, there is little evidence that the pupil premium is helping us close the gap in attainment between pupils from poorer and richer backgrounds.
"Poorer children benefit more than richer students from good teaching so to reduce the attainment gap we really need to make sure that the poorest children receive the highest quality teaching. To achieve that we need to do more to attract, retain and develop our teachers."
You can listen to the episode on BBC iPlayer Radio.
Professor Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education and Director of Research at the University of Cambridge's Faculty of Education. Anna studies inequalities in education access and achievement and has published widely on widening participation into higher education and on the socioeconomic gap in pupil achievement.