What is Pupil Premium?
Eligibility and funding amounts
The pupil premium grant is funding provided to schools to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
A school will receive an amount of money for each pupil of compulsory school age who fits the eligibility criteria. There are five categories of eligible pupil. Each category attracts a different amount of funding.
The grant is allocated in line with the financial year, which begins in April. Each year’s allocations are based on data from the previous January’s census. If an eligible pupil joins after the January census, the school will not receive pupil premium funding for his/her until the following year.
Maintained schools receive the pupil premium through their local authority (LA), whereas the Education Funding Agency allocates the funding directly to academies and free schools. Both academies and maintained schools receive the grant in quarterly instalments.
However, pupil premium funding for looked-after children (LAC) is not allocated to schools but to the virtual school head in the LA, who will work with the school to decide how it will be spent.
Spending the grant
The grant can be spent as each school sees fit, as long as it is used to demonstrably improve the attainment of eligible pupils. Schools do not need to spend an equal amount on each pupil, or use the money for interventions that benefit only eligible pupils.
However the grant should not be used to fund free school meals, as schools already receive funding for this through the dedicated schools grant.
Publishing information about pupil premium spending
Schools must publish information on their websites about the amount of pupil premium funding they have received, how it will be used, how the previous year’s allocation was spent, and the effect of this expenditure on the attainment of eligible pupils.
Early year’s pupil premium
In April 2015, an Early Years pupil premium (EYPP) was introduced for disadvantaged children aged three and four years old. All Early Years providers eligible to receive early education funding are also eligible to receive the EYPP
This money has been largely allocated to providing teaching assistant/staff support to deliver specific time for the children to address individual needs.
This is determined by scrutinising assessments, work in books, ways children respond and the range of support is planned for individuals.
Examples of the intervention last year included:
- Additional daily reading (at least 15 minutes per day)
- One to one support to cover gaps in understanding or specialist programmes to address areas for development
- Emotional support providing a key worker to address anxiety, self-esteem, confidence issues
- Support to manage and organise to be ready for learning including PE/practical tasks
- Opportunities to complete homework in school
- Key worker on residential visit to ensure inclusion
- Key worker at swimming lessons to ensure inclusion
- Additional resources to provide “reminders”
- Physical literacy activities
- Speech and language practice
- Art therapy
The impact of these has meant every child has shown progress, in both small and larger steps over the course of the year which can be seen in books, in assessments and through observations.
Parents have also reported the positive impact the interventions have had during additional parent meetings. The children have gained in confidence and self- esteem and are able to actively seek support when needed and feel fully included in the life of the school.
A designated Governor for the pupil premium funding, monitors and feeds back on the use of the funding and has individual conversations about the anonymised interventions and strategies which are mainly recorded and reviewed in the child’s individual education plans or through pupil progress meetings with parents and teachers.