Schools are allocated additional funding for children from low-income families who are eligible for free school meals, looked after children and those from families with parents in the Armed Forces.
It is also paid on the basis of pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years. The aim of the funding is to help raise standards for children in these groups.
What is it?
The Pupil Premium is an additional grant of money provided to schools by the government aimed at reducing the educational effects of disadvantage.
Who is eligible?
The Pupil Premium is allocated to children from low-income families who are currently known to be eligible for Free School Meals in both mainstream and non-mainstream settings and children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months. It is also paid on the basis of pupils who have been eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the last 6 years.
A smaller amount is allocated to children whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces. This service premium is designed to address the emotional and social well-being of these pupils.
From April 2014, schools in England can receive the Pupil Premium for children adopted from care, or who left care under a Special Guardianship Order on or after 30 December 2005. Schools can also claim the Pupil Premium for children who left care under a Residence Order on or after 14 October 1991.
What is it for?
The Pupil Premium is to help schools raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap with their peers. It is paid to schools in respect of disadvantaged pupils in Reception to Year 11.
As a group, children who have been eligible for FSM at any point in time have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible for FSM.
The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
In most cases the Pupil Premium is allocated to schools and is clearly identifiable. It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium is spent, since the government’s view is that they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.
We aim to ensure we spend our additional Pupil Premium Grant on things that work and are effective in making a positive difference to our disadvantaged children, helping to combat their many barriers to learning and close any gaps in achievement so they do just as well as the other children. We regularly measure the impact or effect of our Pupil Premium strategies and initiatives using a range of methods including:
- analysis of achievement data (pupil progress and the standards they attain) to see if we are successfully closing any gaps;
- specifically tracking their progress in the intervention programmes they are on and other support they and their families receive to see if they are working. leading to an in-depth discussion and guidance from senior managers on how best to help each individual pupil as well as groups of pupils;
- observation of in-class support, intervention programmes and other provision to ensure they are being delivered well and are targeted on the children who will benefit most from them to maximise their effectiveness and impact;
- directly comparing the quality of work and progress in their books to that of the other children in the class;
- feedback from the additional outside agencies we buy in such as our sand-tray therapy and Lego therapy, and from staff about the positive difference these services are making;
- analysis of other relevant key indicators such as attendance, punctuality, behaviour;
- drawing information from other relevant records such as PSHCE assessments as well as information relating to Social Care involvement, safeguarding and child protection.
We use this information to decide which strategies are working well and that we can expand and build-on, and which are not having much effect so need to be targeted on different children, improved, or abandoned and replaced with something better. This information is compared to the cost so we can look for better alternatives if they are not providing ‘value for money’.
We identify and address barriers to learning faced by individual pupils through:
- everyday teaching practice; trawling records;
- discussions with pupils;
- parents and agencies involved;
- rigorous regular tracking of pupil attainment and progress, especially in our dedicated pupil progress meetings (including higher ability PP children) are discussed in detail with senior leaders, including our SENcO, the effectiveness of strategies to overcome their barriers to learning evaluated, and a new tailored programme put in place.
The main barriers to educational achievement faced by eligible pupils at the school:
- Low language levels – 60% of our pupils have language delay or difficulties when they arrive in Foundation Stage as identified by a Speech and Language therapist. This leads to social communication difficulties, and issues with reading and writing
- Broken family structures – family stress and low resilience
- Low parental engagement/parenting skills
- Safeguarding and welfare issues which may lead to Social Services involvement
- Loss and bereavement
- Trauma and other mental health issues in the family and/or child
- Frequent moves of country and school – some have no recourse to public funds
- Socio-economic disadvantage i.e. poverty
- Housing issues i.e. massive overcrowding, temporary poor quality accommodation and friction with neighbours and other members of the community
- Poor health and diet, high level of medical needs, and low attendance
- Special educational needs and disabilities.
For further information please visit: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/premium/b0076063/pp