Hundreds of schools have driven up the amount they will be paid under the Government’s “pupil premium” initiative – designed to “reward” them for taking poorer children – by encouraging parents to apply for free school meals (FSM) for their children, even if they don’t eat them.
Yes, it really is that simple; it gives them more government funding:
Amid growing concerns over pressures on school budgets, headteachers and local councils have targeted the premium, allocated to those pupils eligible for FSM, as a key source of extra income. Teachers estimate the device is worth at least an extra £10m.
This is indeed the economics of the madhouse.
Equally mad, though, are those raising ideological objections to this:
…health campaigners complain that registering for FSM simply as a way to get more money undermines the message that free meals are a vital element of a child’s education.
Well, good. Clearly, it isn’t an entirely bad thing then, since any message so utterly bonkers deserves all the undermining we can throw at it….