Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium Grants: Information for Parents

What is the Pupil Premium?

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:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/premium

Why is the Government providing the Pupil Premium?

 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.

Who receives the Pupil Premium?

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.

How do parents register their child’s entitlement for Pupil Premium?

Parents must apply for free school meals via Walsall Council, this is a quick and simple process. Either download this form, telephone 0300 555 2855 or apply online with your National Insurance Number, date of birth, name and child’s details 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 will be sent to you and the school within 5-10 working days.

Further information is available here (How to apply for free school meals) or on Walsall Council’s website at: cms.walsall.gov.uk/free_school_meals

Pupils do not have to take up their entitlement to a free meal but Local Authorities and schools recommend that they do.

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.

How much are the Pupil Premium Grants worth?

The Pupil Premium for the financial year 2012-13 was £623, it increased to £900 for the 2013-14 financial year, and is now £1,320. 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.

How will schools spend the grant?

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

What is the role of the local authority?

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.

What obligations are placed on the school?

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 current academic year, you must include:

  • the school’s pupil premium grant allocation amount
  • a summary of the main barriers to educational achievement faced by eligible pupils at school
  • how the school will spend the pupil premium to address those barriers and the reasons for that approach
  • how the school will measure the impact of the pupil premium
  • the date of the next review of the school’s pupil premium strategy

For the previous academic year, you must include:

  • how the school spent the pupil premium allocation
  • the impact of the expenditure on eligible and other pupils

How are schools held accountable?

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: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/search/apachesolr_search/pupil%20premium

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/.

Who should parents contact for further information?

Contact the School Office if you would like to find out more about registering your child for free school meals. This information will be held confidentially by the school.

The Head teacher, Pupil Premium Lead or the Chair of the governing body on behalf of the governors can offer further information to those parents enquiring about the use of the Pupil Premium.