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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
To register for Pupil Premium, parents must apply for free school meals by contacting Gillian Coley via reception, this is a quick and simple process. Telephone 01392 267023 with your National Insurance Number, date of birth and your full name 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 should be sent to you and the school within 5-10 working days.
Further information is available on Devon Council’s website at:
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.
The Pupil Premium for the financial year 2012-13 was £623. It increased to £953 (Primary) & £900 (Secondary) for the 2013-14 financial year; increased again to £1300 (Primary), £935 (Secondary) & £1900 for LAC who meet the criteria for the 2014-15 financial year; and is currently £1320 (Primary), £935 (Secondary) & £1900 for LAC who meet the criteria for the 2015-16 financial year.. 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.
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.
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.
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.
How are parents informed about the use of the Pupil Premium grants?
The school’s governing body must publish information on the school-website every year on the Pupil and Service Premium expenditure. For those parents that are not able to access the internet,
a paper copy of this information will be provided. It should detail the funding received for the current academic year, as well as details of how it will be spent; there should also be details of how the previous academic year’s allocation was spent. For example the report should include:
• A brief description of the school, its catchment area, numbers on roll, the percentage of pupils in receipt of Free School meals, ‘Looked After’ children, and pupils from Service Families.
• A brief explanation of what the pupil premium is for, an explanation of the school’s freedom to decide how to spend the additional funding, the allocation and their plans to spend it.
• A brief summary of how the school routinely plans and provides to meet the needs of all pupils.
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.
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: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pupil-premium-information-for-schools-and-alternative-provision-settings
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: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/ .
The Government has made a commitment to provide additional funding to schools for each Year 7 pupil who did not achieve at least Level 4 in the Key Stage 2 National Curriculum tests in reading and/or mathematics. The purpose of this funding is to enable schools to deliver additional support, such as individual tuition or intensive support in small groups, for those pupils that most need it, and enable them to reach their full potential at school.