Pupil Premium Strategy Statement
What is Pupil Premium?
The pupil premium is a government scheme that was introduced in 2011 to improve the education of underprivileged children. It was launched after several research papers suggested that there was a significant gap between the educational performance of disadvantaged children and their classmates. In contrast to the rest of their classmates, many children who are eligible for pupil premium have to face extra challenges daily. These challenges can include attendance issues, lack of confidence and difficulty communicating with others.
The scheme aims to grant schools with extra funding so that they’re able to provide additional support for children who are faced with these types of challenges. It’s objective is to help schools unlock the learning potential of their pupils and provide them with a better education. It also aspires to narrow the gap of educational development between children of underprivileged backgrounds and their peers.
Who qualifies for the pupil premium?
Children can be eligible for the pupil premium for a variety of reasons. These include their family circumstances, such as their income or occupations, and whether or not they’re in care. If a child is eligible, a school will receive the necessary amount of funding for each child per school year. For a school to receive funding, they must have a pupil that falls into one of these categories:
Primary schools receive £1345 for each pupil that is currently eligible for free school meals based on their family income.
Primary schools receive £1345 for every pupil that has previously received free school meals based on their family income. Pupils are eligible for funding for six years since they last received a free school meal.
All schools receive £2345 for every pupil that is currently in some form of care.
All schools receive £2345 for every pupil that has previously been in some form of care and has since been adopted or placed into a child guardianship order.
All schools will receive £310 for every pupil that has a parent currently serving in the armed forces, or receiving a pension from the Ministry of Defence.
How do schools spend the pupil premium?
Schools are allowed to spend their pupil premium funding in whatever ways they see fit. This is because teachers and educational leaders are the most qualified at identifying what their pupils need most. However, the government advises that schools carefully plan their spending and ensure that the funding is not simply absorbed into the mainstream school budget. They are encouraged to ensure that spending is carefully targeted to increase the achievements of their disadvantaged pupils. Research has continued to show that if spent in the correct ways, pupil premium funding can help to increase the academic ability of underprivileged children; particularly in core subjects such as Maths and English.
Some of the most common ways that schools can spend their funding include:
Hiring teaching assistants that can provide additional support during lessons.
Investing in technology and resources that will benefit a child’s learning such as computers and tablets.
Providing additional one-to-one tutoring for core subjects such as English and Maths.
Paying for English lessons for pupils that speak a different language at home.
Funding school trips for children who otherwise would not be able to afford them.
Providing transportation for children who live far away from school to increase attendance.
Paying for school equipment and uniforms for disadvantaged children.
Providing children with extra tuition that can help to support them at home such as cooking lessons.
Funding anger management sessions for children that struggle with their behaviour.
Paying for counselling or family support sessions for children that have a difficult time at home.
Organising extra-curricular activities such as music, drama and sports clubs.
Providing support for children who require speech and language therapy.
The pupil premium can increase the educational quality that a school can provide to their disadvantaged pupils. More often than not, other members of the school community will also benefit from the investments made with the pupil premium funding. For example, teachers will be able to spend more one-to-one time with children in class due to the additional support of a teaching assistant.
How can a child receive free school meals?
As stated previously, any child that is currently receiving free school meals is eligible for pupil premium funding. It’s incredibly important that parents make the school aware that their child is eligible for this as it will automatically allow the school to receive extra funding that will go towards the betterment of their child’s education.
A child’s family circumstances are taken into account when determining whether or not they qualify for free school meals. To be eligible, they must be receiving one or more of the following benefits:
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
Support as a result of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Child Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit (if a household is earning less than £7,400 per year)
It’s also worth noting that if a child receives these benefits directly, rather than a parent or guardian, they are also entitled to free school meals. This can be the case if the child is in care or some form of guardianship programme.
Pupil Premium Overview
Pupil Premium Strategy
Pupil Premium Expenditure 2019-20