It looks like the pupil premium idea is going to be rolled out by the Coalition, with Nick Clegg supporting it today. It basically hands cash over to schools who take on kids who are eligible for free school meals, the idea being that the better schools take on poorer children. No, this doesn't really happen already.
Basically, they seem to be attempting to bribe good schools to take on poor kids. But at the end of the day, poor kids are much less likely to have parents that have the ambition to get them into the best school rather than the local one. And like it or not, the overwhelming majority of good state schools now have a middle class feel to them thanks to being based in affluent areas. I don't see Head Teachers "taking a risk" (in their eyes) and taking on a poor kid rather than a middle class one with a stable family and background for a bit of extra funding. After all, the middle class kids are the ones that made their school so well performing in the first place.
What we clearly need is the restoration of grammar schools, a policy that does not discriminate nor patronise anyone. It is then purely about ability and not background. Clegg and Cameron's pupil premium merely reinforces the class gap between poor state schools with poor kids in deprived areas, and middle class ones that are now being offered a bit of cash to "take pity" and let poorer children in. Are middle class dads and mothers going to allow their kid being deprived a place at a school because they want instead to let in a poor kid? I somehow doubt it. This policy is surely not right.