What is the 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, disadvantaged children face challenges such as poor language and communication skills, less family support, lack of confidence and issues with attendance and punctuality. The Pupil Premium is intended to directly benefit disadvantaged children, helping to narrow the gap between them and their classmates and their peers nationally.
To whom does it apply?
The Department for Education (DfE) give primary schools a Pupil Premium for identified disadvantaged pupils:
- Children in Reception to Year 6 who are, or have ever been, entitled to free school meals based on their family income: £1320 per pupil, per school year
- Children in care: £2300 per pupil, per school year
- Children previously in care who have been adopted, or who have a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order: £2300 per pupil, per school year
- Children recorded as being from service families: £300 per pupil, per school year
Do my circumstances entitle a Pupil Premium payment to the school for my child?
Children qualify for free school meals (FSM) – and accordingly Pupil Premium – if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Universal credit (provided you have a net income of £7400 or less)
- 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. Universal Credit is being rolled out, with an expected completion date of March 2022. All pupils who were eligible for free school meals up to April 2018 will continue to receive free school meals during this period. Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing claimants who no longer meet the eligibility criteria will still qualify for free school meals until the end of their current stage of education (i.e. primary or secondary).
If you think that you may be eligible for free school meals, visit the Free School Meals Eligibility Checker and enter the required details (Parent/Carer's full legal name, date of birth and National Insurance Number or National Asylum Support Service Number). This quick one-off check will tell you whether your child is eligible. Click on the 'Create a New Account' tab and 'Proceed' and you will be able to complete the check without the need to actually set up an account.
If your child qualifies for free school meals, it’s important that you let us know – even if they're in Reception or KS1 and receive Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM), or are in KS2 and take a packed lunch, or you do not wish for your child to take up a free school meal – as this enables us to claim their Pupil Premium entitlement. You can apply via Gloucestershire County Council to enable the school to receive this extra funding to enhance provision for children and improve academic and future socio-economic outcomes.
Children who are or have been in care, and children who have a parent who is or was in the armed forces, are also entitled to Pupil Premium.
Schools are responsible for recording the children who are eligible for Pupil Premium in their annual school census - you don't have to do anything yourself, other than making sure you return any paperwork that relates to the benefits you receive or your child's entitlement to free school meals.
How is the Pupil Premium 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:
- Enabling 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 English
- Running a school breakfast club, for example to improve attendance
- Providing extra tuition for able children, for example in preparation for SATs
- Providing music lessons for children whose families would be unable to pay for them
- Supporting funding for educational trips and visits
- Paying for additional help such as speech and language therapy or family therapy
- Investing in resources that boost children’s learning, such as laptops or tablets
At Tirlebrook Primary School, we have chosen to spend our Pupil Premium money to support the following areas which we have identified as being barriers to success for our Pupil Premium children:
- Improving speaking, listening and understanding skills for pupils in EYFS and Y1
- Aiming for attainment to be at least in line with the national average for all pupils in Reading, Writing and Maths
- Improving phonics, reading and comprehension skills at KS1
- Approaching social and emotional well-being positively so that progress and attainment are directly impacted
- Ensuring that the expense of musical and other extra-curricular tuition does not exclude disadvantaged children from experiences and opportunities that will help them to reach their potential