What is Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is additional funding that the government gives to schools for each pupil on roll where they are deemed to be disadvantaged. The money must be spent on that pupil to support their education, but it is for the school to determine how it is spent. The Department of Education website is a good source of additional information:
Why is the Government providing the Pupil Premium?
Poverty or low income is the single most important factor in predicting a child’s future life chances, with many pupils having low attainment by the time they leave school at age 16. The Government believes that the Pupil Premium is the best way to address these underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
Who receives the Pupil Premium?
Pupil Premium is allocated to pupils in school year groups from Reception to Year 11 from low income families who are registered for FSM, or who have been registered for FSM at any point in the last six years (known as ‘Ever 6’), together with children that have been in care continuously for 6 months or more.
What is the Service Premium?
The Service Premium grant is for pupils who have a parent serving in the armed services. Unlike the Pupil Premium, this grant is not solely for raising attainment but for providing additional (mainly pastoral) support.
Who receives the Service Premium?
Pupils with a parent currently serving in the armed services and supporting their family, pupils who have a parent who died in action and those whose parents have left the service since April 2011 for other reasons, including injury. To be eligible, the parent must be supporting their family, so where they are separated or divorced a pupil will not be eligible.
How do parents register their child’s entitlement for Pupil Premium?
Parents must apply for free school meals via the County Council or their child’ school, this is a quick and simple process. Telephone with your National Insurance Number, date of birth, name and child’s details and an eligibility check can be carried out using the Department for Education’s Eligibility Checking System, this will confirm if details have been matched or not. It will not tell us what benefits you are in receipt of, dates when a benefit was awarded or say how much you receive. Confirmation will be sent to you and the school within 5-10 working days.
Pupils do not have to take up their entitlement to a free meal but Local Authorities and schools recommend that they do. The government is made aware of each pupil claiming FSMs each term via the school census so they have up-to-date information on those eligible.
How much are the Pupil Premium Grants worth?
The Pupil Premium for the financial year 2012-13 was £623, it increased to £900 for the 2013-14 financial year, and will increase to £1,300 for 2014/15. The Service Premium was £250 and is now £300 This is significant additional money for schools to spend on supporting disadvantaged pupils and schools are very keen to ensure that all eligible pupils are ‘signed up’. Grants are based on those pupils included in the January schools’ census.
How will schools spend the grant?
Schools must spend the grant for the educational benefit of their eligible pupils. The grant can be spent on services that benefit pupils at the school or their families, in the locality in which the school is situated. Pupil Premium grants can be carried forward to the next financial year if all the money is not spent in the year in which it is allocated.
What is the role of the local authority?
Local authorities are responsible for passing on the Pupil or Service Premium to maintained schools and for managing its distribution in respect of ‘Looked After’ children. The Education Funding Agency, not the local authority, allocates the grant to Academy Schools but the eligibility criteria is exactly the same. However, neither organisation is responsible for how schools spend the Pupil Premium, except for pupils in care, where the Local Authority has responsibility for their wellbeing.
What obligations are placed on the school?
Schools will need to monitor the impact of their selected approaches to improve provision for pupils entitled to the Pupil or Service Premium. The Pupil and Service Premium is not ring-fenced and schools are free to spend it as they wish to improve pupils’ attainment. Parents should be aware that school staff are bound by ‘confidentiality rules’ on all matters pertinent to pupils’ educational needs, their care and health needs and their wellbeing.
How are schools held accountable?
The Ofsted Inspection Framework ensures that their inspectors focus on the attainment of vulnerable pupils and in particular those who attract the Pupil and Service Premium. They have published a series of reports about how the pupil premium can be spent, these can be found on their website at:
The Department for Education’s performance tables detail the achievement of those pupils entitled to FSM and the Pupil Premium Grant(s). Individual pupils will never be identified through published information, this will only relate to groups of pupils, and in small schools numbers may not be published. Individual school information can be found on the Department for Education’s website at:
Who should parents contact for further information?
Contact the school administrator if you would like to find out more about registering your child for free school meals. This information will be held confidentially by the school. The administrator should also be able to direct you to any reports the school has produced relating to the use of the pupil premium. The head teacher or the Chair of the governing body on behalf of the governors can offer further information to those parents enquiring about the use of the Pupil Premium.
How the Pupil Premium is used at Hinckley Parks Primary?
At Holliers Walk we have looked very carefully at how we can spend the pupil premium funding to ensure positive outcomes. We have looked at the needs for individual pupils and how we can meet those needs. We have a full time family support worker whose remit is working with children and families who may require additional support from ourselves and also outside agencies. We have a learning support assistant whose only focus is working with pupil premium pupils and monitoring their progress. The school offers funding support for extra-curricular sports clubs, music lessons and school trips and residentials. We are very pleased that we can demonstrate a trend of ‘narrowing the gap’ between the rates of progress of pupils receiving the pupil premium pupils are their peers.
We use our pupil premium funding to:
- Support children’s learning via small group work and one-to-one tuition.
- Employ a family support worker (from September 2013).
- Fund additional classroom support staff.
- Encourage children to participate in after school clubs.
- Enable children to take part in residential trips.
- Learn to play musical instruments.
Irrespective of ability, we recognise the importance of ensuring this funding is specifically used for FSM and ‘looked after’ children at Hinckley Parks and we continually strive to see improvement and the ‘gap narrowed’.
Our assessment of the quality of this provision will be based on continual monitoring and regular progress meetings with the teachers of the small groups.