Introduction to the Pupil Premium
The Pupil Premium was introduced in 2011 and 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 your child eligible?
Schools are given a pupil premium for:
- Children who have qualified for free school meals at any point in the past six years. The school receives £1345 for each of these children.
- Children who are or have been looked after under local authority care for more than one day. These children are awarded a premium of £2345.
- Children from service families who receive a child pension from the Ministry of Defence. They are awarded £310.
In March 2018 the Government announced that free school meals would only be available to children in KS2 whose families have a net income of £7400 or under, effective from 1 April 2018. If your child was previously entitled to free school meals but is no longer, they will still receive pupil premium based on the 'Ever 6' qualification (a pupil who has ever had free school meals in the past six years).
How is it spent?
Schools can choose how to spend their pupil premium money, as they are best placed to identify what would be of most benefit to the children who are eligible.
Common ways in which schools spend their pupil premium fund include:
- Extra one-to-one or small-group support for children within the classroom.
- Employing extra teaching assistants to work with classes.
- 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 extra tuition for able children.
- Providing music lessons for children whose families would be unable to pay for them.
- Funding educational trips and visits.
- Paying for additional help such as speech and language therapy or family therapy.
- Funding English classes for children who speak another language at home.
- Investing in resources that boost children’s learning, such as laptops or tablets.
However, some schools use their pupil premium in more creative ways. In the annual Pupil Premium Awards, recent winners spent their money on a bike for a child who was repeatedly late for school due to missing the bus, a nutritionist for a Year 5 child whose poor diet was causing behavioural and learning difficulties, and shoes and school uniform – including a PE kit – for a disadvantaged child.
Often, all of the children in a class will reap some benefit from how the school spends its pupil premium: for example, if the money is used to fund an additional teaching assistant who works across the whole class, rather than providing one-to-one support. But research shows that the fund does help to narrow gaps between disadvantaged children and their peers, particularly in English and maths.
The funding is given to schools to spend as they think best, although there is a requirement to publish online how this money is spent (please see below).
Please click HERE for the latest Government information on the Pupil Premium.
How to claim your child’s pupil premium
Prior to April 2018, children qualified for free school meals – and accordingly pupil premium – if you received 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
These benefits have now been rolled into a single benefit, called Universal Credit.
From April 2018, free school meals and pupil premium will only be allocated to pupils with a family income under £7400 (net) per year.
Your child’s school will be able to tell you what you need to do to register your child as eligible.
Since September 2014, all children in Reception and Years 1 and 2 have qualified for free school meals, regardless of their family income, but only the children who would qualify for free meals under the above income-based criteria will receive the pupil premium.
If your child qualifies for free school meals, it’s important that you tell the school – even if they take a packed lunch – as this enables them to claim pupil premium.
Pupil Premium at Pitsford
At Pitsford we are committed to ensuring all our children make the best possible progress.
We track the achievements of every child on a regular basis and do all we can to make sure each child achieves his or her potential. We also have a duty to ensure that no group of children are disadvantaged due to their gender, ethnic origin, family income or background.
The school maintains a Pupil Premium Strategy document which outlines in detail what funding is available to our children and how this will be spent to directly benefit them.
Please also see our Pupil Premium Policy
The school will not use the Pupil Premium Fund to:
- Pay for external clubs not associated with or recommended by the school
- Pay for uniform or resources that parents would reasonably be expected to provide
- Benefit groups of children for whom the funding does not apply (e.g. by subsidising general TA hours)
In exceptional circumstances, funding may be allocated to cover the complete costs of trips and other provisions not outlined above. These decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and by majority decisions of the Senior Leadership Team.
Recent and ongoing monitoring by the Senior Leadership Team, shows that the children who qualify for Pupil Premium are benefiting greatly from the additional support and making rapid progress from their starting points.
How Can You Help?
If you think that your child may be eligible for pupil premium funding / free school meals, even if you do not want your child to eat school meals, please apply on Northamptonshire County Council’s website.
Every child who is registered as eligible for pupil premium generates valuable income for the school and this eligibility will help you access financial assistance with school costs such as trips, clubs and music tuition.