What is Pupil Premium?
Introduced in 2011, the pupil premium is a sum of money given to schools each year by the Government to improve the attainment of disadvantaged children.
This is based on research showing that children from low income families perform less well at school than their peers. Often, children who are entitled to pupil premium face challenges such as poor language and communication skills, lack of confidence and issues with attendance and punctuality. The pupil premium is intended to directly benefit the children who are eligible, helping to narrow the gap between them and their classmates.
Is my child entitled to Pupil Premium Funding?
Schools are given Pupil Premium funding for:
- Children who have qualified for free school meals at any point in the past six years. The school receives just over £1300 for each of these children.
- Children who have been looked after under local authority care for more than one day. These children are awarded a premium of just over £1900
How can I check if my child is entitled?
Your child may be eligible for free school meals – and accordingly pupil premium – if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Income support
- Income-based jobseekers’ allowance
- Income-related employment and support allowance
- Support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of state pension credit
- Child tax credit, provided that you are not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of £16,190 or less
- Universal credit
Members of the school’s administration team will be able to tell you what you need to do to check if your child as eligible.
From September 2014, all children in Reception and Years 1 and 2 will qualify for free school meals, regardless of their family income, but only the children who would have qualified for free meals under the above income-based criteria will receive the pupil premium.
If you think your child qualifies for free school meals, it’s important that you tell us – even if they bring a packed lunch – as this enables us to claim pupil premium for them.
How is the money spent?
Pupil Premium funding is spent in a variety of ways dependant upon the needs of those eligible for it.
Some of the ways in which we have spent our pupil premium funding include:
- Extra one-to-one or small-group support for children within the classroom.
- Running catch-up sessions before or after school, for example for children who need extra help with maths or literacy.
- Running a school breakfast club to improve attendance.
- Providing reduced-rate music lessons for children whose families would otherwise be unable to pay for them.
- Funding additional English classes for eligible children who speak another language at home.
Who decides how the money is spent?
The school has a clear, strategic approach for the use of specific Pupil Premium funding and plans are integrated into wider school improvement systems. These are monitored and evaluated regularly by both the Senior Leaders of the school and the Governors, both of whom are accountable for the spending and impact of pupil premium funding.
Can parents influence how the funding is spent?
There is no obligation for schools to consult with parents and carers about how they use the money they claim for your child, yet at Pioneers we always inform parents of our plans for their child. However, all schools do have to show that they are using their pupil premium funding appropriately. This is measured through Ofsted inspections and annual performance tables showing the progress made by children who are eligible for pupil premium. In addition, we have to publish details online, including how much money we have been allocated, how we spent it and how it made a difference to the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
How do we know it is making a difference?
In depth data analysis of the progress and attainment of children in receipt of this funding, compared to that of their peers, ensures that only strategies which impact effectively upon progress are adopted. We have an identified governor who has a responsibility for monitoring the impact of the funding who regularly visits the school to ensure funding is being effectively used.