Pupil Premium is additional funding given to publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.
Pupil Premium funding is available to both mainstream and non-mainstream schools, such as special schools and pupil referral units.
It is allocated to schools based on the number of children who come from low-income families – this is defined as those who are currently known to be eligible for free school meals. (FSM)
It is important to know that a pupil does not need to have a school dinner, but the parents / carers should check to see if they are entitled. A summary guide to claiming Free School Meals can be accessed here: Free School Meals Leaflet-Poster
It also includes:
- pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years
- children where a parent serves in the armed forces
It is £900 per pupil which was increased mid-year to £953, with £300 for children of armed forces families or those on armed service pension.
In the financial year schools will receive:
- £935 for secondary-aged pupils
- £1,900 for each looked-after pupil who:
- … has been looked after for 1 day or more
- … was adopted from care on or after 30 December 2005
- … left care under a special guardianship order or a residence order
It is for the school to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools per FSM pupil, is spent, to make the most impact with disadvantaged young people. It is also for the school to decide, who it considers as disadvantaged. In the case of a Pupil Referral Unit most young people might be included in the definition as they have all suffered a disrupted education and in many cases, domestic difficulties.
In the current year, the funding for a looked-after pupil will be held by the Virtual School Team (VST) in the local authority who will determine the allocation to the school.
Key principles for using the funding:
- The funding is to be ring-fenced at the beginning of the academic year so that it can be shown to benefit targeted disadvantaged students.
- Eligibility for the use of the premium is not confused with low ability, instead, it encourages disadvantaged learners to raise their attainment as high as possible
- The PRU tries to determine which pupils are underachieving and why, especially in core subjects
- The PRU draws on evidence from its own and others’ experience to allocate the funding to the activities that are most likely to have an impact on raising achievement. In some cases this may be a focus on raising self esteem
- Teaching groups are kept to a teacher : pupil ratio of 1:5 but in addition, support staff are deployed to help learners to raise attainment and learn more acceptable ways to behave
- The PRU has designated a senior leader to have overview of how the funding is allocated and to be able to report on outcomes for pupils
- Class and subject teachers have access to information which show which pupils are eligible for pupil premium, so that they can pay particular attention to accelerating their progress