I very much believe that we need to reform the way that Pupil Premium Plus (PPP) is paid, especially for children who have been adopted.
The dedication and commitment required to provide a loving home, and often a second chance, for potentially troubled young people is exceptional.
I firmly support adoptive parents and the work done by organisations such as Adoption UK in providing support for them.
I have previously raised the issue of PPP being paid according to the financial, rather than academic year. This, I believe, has the potential to leave schools without the necessary finances to fund vital services – such as one-to-one tuition or additional support in the classroom – and has the possibility of adversely affecting pupils’ welfare.
This is especially important in the case of adoptive children, and those who have previously been in care, who often have more complex needs and require additional support.
In the short-term, I support the payment of the Pupil Premium by academic, rather than financial, year and a guarantee that funding from the scheme will be ring-fenced to provide support for pupils who are entitled to pupil premium.
In the longer-term, I believe that we should move away from a model of funding paid to individual schools – which leads to problems around the transition from primary to secondary, and towards a system that links funding to individual qualifying pupils, which could then be more easily transferred between schools.
I will look to work closely with Adoption UK, and other agencies, to ensure that our public policy can best provide for adoptive children and care-leavers, so that no child is left behind.