The government believes that the pupil premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
The pupil premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years (known as ‘Ever 6 FSM’).
Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months, and children of service personnel.
The government believes that headteachers and school leaders should decide how to use the pupil premium. They are held accountable for the decisions they make through:
- schools performance tables which show the performance of disadvantaged pupils compared with their peers;
- the Ofsted inspection framework, under which inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, and in particular those who attract the pupil premium;
- the reports for parents that schools have to publish on their website.
In most cases, the pupil premium is paid direct to schools, allocated to them for every pupil who receives free school meals. Schools decide how to use the funding as they are best placed to assess what additional provision their pupils require.
Local authorities are responsible for looked-after children and make payments to schools and academies where an eligible looked-after child is on roll.
The Pupil Premium funding for children, in 2013-14, allocated £900 per disadvantaged child, with an additional payment of £53 for primary-aged pupils.
In 2016-17, the funding allocated £1320 for primary-aged pupils, £935 for secondary-aged pupils and £1900 for all looked after children, adopted children and children with guardians.
How Bishop Loveday spends Pupil Premium Funding
Much of the work that the teachers and teaching assistants do with children in receipt of pupil premium is within the classroom, as part of small booster groups, nurturing and intervention activities. This enables us to target the particular academic and social/emotional needs of the individual pupils. Many of the Key Stage 2 pupil premium children receive after-school booster and financial support towards residential visits. All of our pupil premium children are allocated a senior leader key worker to ensure their needs are met and lines of communication are open.
We aim to use our pupil premium income in the most effective way possible to supplement basic school funding. We continue to receive some specific funds for certain children with special educational needs. We monitor the progress of all of our pupils each term to help us decide how best to allocate our various funding streams.
Reports are written for the governing body on the progress made towards narrowing the gap in attainment by year group and socially disadvantaged students (Ever6) and outline of the provision being accessed and an evaluation of impact both quantitative and qualitative.
Reports and Policy documents can be viewed below.
Accountability for the Pupil Premium can’t be so narrow that it looks solely at academic achievement. It needs to take into account other areas such as behaviour attendance and emotional wellbeing – all these things have such a big impact. Alongside increasing the children’s educational achievement, we have been supporting their emotional wellbeing in a variety of ways including running emotional support and self-esteem programmes.