Low social mobility and lack of educational opportunity is arguably the biggest social challenge of our times: the income gap between the richest and poorest in society continue to widen, while education opportunities remain overwhelmingly dominated by children from the most privileged homes.
Sutton Trust, 2014
What is the Pupil Premium?Pupil Premium funding is a National Government initiative that was introduced in April 2011.
It is additional funding given to schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
The Department for Education cites the following as the key issue behind the introduction of the policy:
We believe it is unacceptable for children’s successes to be determined by their social circumstances. We intend to raise levels of achievement for all disadvantaged pupils and to close the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers.
It is our ambition to eradicate this gap and for our disadvantaged pupils to achieve and be as successful as their non-disadvantaged peers.
These groups of children have been identified nationally as achieving at a lower level than children from less disadvantaged backgrounds. For example, national figures show that 11 year olds who are eligible for Free School Meals are around twice as likely not to achieve Age Related Expectations in maths and English as other 11 year olds.
The Pupil Premium is additional funding is allocated to schools on the basis of the number of students:
- Who are or have ever been eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any point over the last six years (known as ‘Ever 6 FSM).
- All current looked after children (LAC) and for those who have been looked after for one day or more previously, as well as children who have been adopted from care or have left care under a special guardianship order or a residency order since 30th December 2005.
- Children of current service personnel or ex-service personnel who have served within the last four years. This is called the Service Premium.
- At Meadhurst we are committed to closing the attainment gap that currently exists between Pupil Premium students and their peers which is outlined in our strategy below.
How must the funding be used?
The purpose of the Pupil Premium is to help schools to provide targeted support for vulnerable children- not necessarily just children who qualify for FSM.
It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools per FSM pupil, is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.
Source - DfE website
Therefore, there is no requirement for the money to be spent on individual children simply because they fall into this category.
However, it is expected that the funding will be used to support, as necessary, children in this group so that this group have every opportunity to make the same progress as their peers. Meadhurst is held accountable for their use of the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families and the impact this has on educational attainment.
At Meadhurst we endeavour to use the Pupil Premium to identify and remove barriers to learning to ensure that disadvantaged children leaving Meadhurst achieve at least in line with their peers. Similarly, we invest in the curriculum to provide opportunities for all children to participate in high quality sports as well as using a wide range of in school experiences, educational visits and residential trips to bring the curriculum to life.
How will the impact of the spending of the Pupil Premium be measured?
At Meadhurst School there is a Pupil Premium champion who closely monitors the Pupil Premium group of children. The children’s attainment is assessed, monitored and analysed each half term.
Alongside our usual cycle of data collection and the monitoring and tracking of the cohort’s attainment, children in receipt of Pupil Premium are identified and tracked as a discrete group. This analysis is then used to inform student progress and enable the early identification of need, support and appropriate intervention. In addition to quantitative data, our monitoring cycle includes gathering evidence in terms of feedback from children, parents and staff as to what is working well and where further support is needed.
Success will be evidence that shows that children in this group are making better progress than their national peers and also evidence that the attainment gap is closing. We will compare their progress against their peers in the school and nationally, so that we can judge the impact of our work in this broader context.
Any further questions
If you have any further queries concerning the Pupil Premium or believe that your child may be eligible, please contact Mr Peter Collins, Pupil Premium Champion. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you eligible for Free School Meals?
A parent may wish to check their child's eligibility for Pupil Premium funding even if you don't want your child to eat school meals. Every child who is eligible generates valuable income for the school. To do this you will need to contact the school office who will be able to help you with this process.
Parents/guardians in England do not have to pay for school meals if they receive any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190
- Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
Please find below the 2019/20 Pupil Premium Strategy, which outlines the allocation of Pupil Premium funding for this academic year.
You will also find a document that contains a short review of how 2018/19 Pupil Premium funding was allocated and the impact it had.