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. The pupil premium is intended to directly benefit the children who are eligible, helping to narrow the gap between them and their classmates. This is based on research showing that children from low income families perform less well at school than their peers. It can help overcome challenges such as poor language and communication skills, lack of confidence and issues with attendance and punctuality.
How is pupil premium money 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.
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.
There is no obligation for schools to consult parents about how they use the money, however at Swaffham Prior we like to involve parents as much as possible.
Schools do have to show that they are using their pupil premium fund 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 intend to spend it, how we spent the previous year’s allocation and how it made a difference to the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
Who qualifies for pupil premium?
Children qualify for free school meals – 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 eligiblilty criteria will still qualify for free school meals until the end of their current stage of education (i.e. primary or secondary).
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.
If your child qualifies for free school meals, it’s important that you tell us – even if they're in Reception or KS1 and receive universal school meals for infant pupils, or are in KS2 and take a packed lunch – as this enables us to claim pupil premium.
If you think your child may be eligible for free school meals, please click the link to download the application form.
Barriers to future attainment
These barriers are relevant for all children, including those eligible for pupil premium.
• The multiple disadvantages of pupils (e.g. SEN/CP/EAL) who are also eligible for PP.
• Lack of parental engagement with the school.
• Issues with mental health and resilience of children and their parents.
• Unsupported learning habits at home.
• Family structures may be broken.
• Safeguarding and welfare issues which may lead to Social Services involvement.
• Mental health issues or social and emotional issues in the family and/or child.
• Some pupils’ attendance is low and some are frequently late so are missing learning.
• Parents may need support with developing skills in parenting.
• Communication and language barriers due to language delay or speech and language issues identified by a Speech and Language Therapist.
Our pupil premium provision will next be reviewed in October 2020.
You can download a copy of our pupil premium report below.