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:
|2020-21 Rates||Pupil premium per pupil|
|Pupils in year groups reception to year 6 recorded as Ever 6 free school meals (FSM)||£1,345|
|Pupils in years 7 to 11 recorded as Ever 6 FSM||£955|
|Looked-after children (LAC) defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority||£2,345|
|Children who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order||£2,345|
|Service children||Pupil premium per pupil|
|Pupils in year groups reception to year 11 recorded as Ever 6 service child or in receipt of a child pension from the Ministry of Defence||£310|
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.
Common ways in which schools spend their pupil premium fund include:
- Extra one-to-one or small-group support for children within the classroom.
- Employing extra teaching assistants to work with classes.
- Running catch-up sessions before or after school, for example for children who need extra help with maths or literacy.
- Running a school breakfast club to improve attendance.
- Providing extra tuition for able children who receive the pupil premium, for example in preparation for SATs.
- Providing music lessons for children whose families would be unable to pay for them.
- Funding educational trips and visits.
- Paying for additional help such as speech and language therapy or family therapy.
- Funding English classes for children who speak another language at home.
- Investing in resources that boost children’s learning, such as laptops or tablets.
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 teaching assistant 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 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 Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
Sparken Hill Academy will be able to tell you what you need to do to register your child as eligible.
Your child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in a government-funded school and in:
- reception class
- year 1
- year 2
If your child qualifies for free school meals, it’s important that you tell us – even if they take a packed lunch – as this enables us to claim pupil premium.