What is the 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.
This is based on research showing that children from low income families perform less well at school than their peers. Often, children who are entitled to pupil premium face challenges such as poor language and communication skills, less family support, lack of confidence and issues with attendance and punctuality. The pupil premium is intended to directly benefit the children who are eligible, helping to narrow the gap between them and their classmates.
Is your child eligible?
Schools are given a pupil premium for:
- Children who have qualified for free school meals at any point in the past six years. The school receives £1300 for each of these children.
- Children who have been looked after under local authority care for more than one day. These children are awarded a premium of £1900.
How is it 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. In a large number of schools, this may include things such as small group support, employing extra teachers to work with individuals and groups, running catch up sessions and supporting with educational trips and visits.
How is it spent here at Light Hall School?
Here at Light Hall, our pupil premium is used in a wide variety of ways. The majority of the money is spent on additional staffing including a Pupil Premium Achievement Manager and our own Education and Welfare Officer. Our achievement manager, Ms Underhill, co-ordinates the programme of extra provision for our pupil premium students which includes Action Tutoring (Literacy and English support), an Accelerated Readers programme (to develop reading skills amongst younger pupils) and Lexia (a literacy intervention scheme based largely on phonics). Ms Underhill also runs an after-school homework club and reading group targeting specific groups of students and manages the school’s Student Support Fund, which helps with basic equipment, resources and support for academic trips amongst other things.
Mr Hooper, our Education and Welfare Officer, focuses on the attendance and punctuality of our pupils and liaises with a number of families. His work, since his appointment just over a year ago, has led to a significant improvement in both attendance and punctuality.
We also have a small group tuition programme run by a former full time member of staff focusing on the pupils’ maths progress and attainment, independent careers advice and a number of ICT based learning and revision materials to name but a few.
A full breakdown of how the Pupil Premium Spend can be found here
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 member of staff, who works across the whole class, rather than providing one-to-one support. But research shows that the fund does help to narrow gaps between disadvantaged children and their peers, particularly in English and maths.
How is this money regulated?
All 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, they have to publish details online, including how much money they have been allocated, how they intend to spend it, how they spent their previous year’s allocation and how it made a difference to the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
How to claim your child’s pupil premium
Your child may be eligible for free school meals – and accordingly pupil premium – if you receive any of the following benefits:
- 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
- Universal credit
- Your child’s school will be able to tell you what you need to do to register your child as eligible.
If your child qualifies for free school meals, it’s important that you tell us here at Light Hall – even if they take a packed lunch – as this enables them to claim pupil premium.
Information adapted from http://www.theschoolrun.com/pupil-premium-explained