Many children from families who receive certain benefits are entitled to a sum of money paid to their school to boost their learning.
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, 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.
How to claim your child's Pupil Premium?
All children who currently qualify for free school meals based on their family circumstances are entitled to pupil premium. This applies if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Universal credit (provided you have a net income of £7400 or less)
- 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
Children who are or have been in care, and children who have a parent who is or was in the armed forces, are also entitled to pupil premium.
In addition, pupils who have qualified for free school meals on the above grounds in the past, but are no longer eligible, continue to receive pupil premium for the next six years.
Schools are responsible for recording the children who are eligible for pupil premium in their annual school census - you don't have to do anything yourself, other than making sure you return any paperwork that relates to the benefits you receive or your child's entitlement to free school meals.
If your child qualifies for free school meals or has at any point in the past six years, it’s important that you tell their school – even if they're in Reception or KS1 and receive universal school meals for infant pupils, or are in KS2 and take a packed lunch – as this enables them to claim pupil premium.
If your family doesn't quite meet the criteria, but you are finding it more difficult at home, please speak to the PSA's or a member of the leadership team on the gate and we can help you. We have the Lakenham Larder we can dip into to support and have access to other organisations who can also help. Don't keep quiet, all families go through more difficult times, we are a family and are here to help.
Is your child eligible?
Primary schools are given a pupil premium for:
- Children in Reception to Year 6 who are currently entitled to free school meals based on their family income: £1345 per pupil, per school year
- Children in Reception to Year 6 who were previously entitled to benefits-based free school meals, even if they're no longer eligible: £1345 per pupil, per school year, for six years after they stopped qualifying for free school meals
- Children in care: £2345 per pupil, per school year
- Children previously in care who have been adopted, or who have a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order: £2345 per pupil, per school year
- Children recorded as being from service families: £310 per pupil, per school year
How is it spent?
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 a school breakfast club to improve attendance.
- Funding educational trips and visits.
- Paying for additional help such as speech and language therapy or individual therapy.
- Investing in resources that boost children’s learning, such as laptops or tablets.
Issues that some disadvantages pupils face have been exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic, and we are anticipating an increase in the levels of disadvantage in our school community.
To better support our disadvantaged pupils, this set of key principles has been produced to underpin decisions taken and to support school leaders in planning their school, phase and subject specific strategies for tackling education disadvantage. These principles are rooted in evidence and national best practice. Staff at all levels should have a clear understanding of the principles and the schools’ Pupil Premium strategy.
Every day, all pupils, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, will be best served by the focus on high quality of teaching and learning at all levels, beginning in the Early Years. This leads to success in the classroom and beyond. This will be achieved through putting high quality teaching and learning at the heart of our school’s Pupil Premium strategy.
Key Principles: Culture
The school will connect with pupils and families on an individual basis in order to understand their context. This will inform teaching approaches, with emotional well-being at the heart of the approach. Academic staff will work closely with the pastoral team so all pupils at the risk of under-achievement and their families are supported in a co-ordinated way.
Disadvantaged pupils should not be treated as a homogenous group. Strategy and activity should always focus on pupil need. Employing a proactive approach, anticipating future challenges and addressing them through early identification means that the underachievement of disadvantaged pupils is not inevitable.
The Education Endowment Foundation research evidence has been used to inform our decision making. Research from the DfE and the EEF shows that the greatest impact on disadvantaged pupils is what happens in the classroom on a daily basis.
All schools should adopt a robust process and impact evaluation framework for their Pupil Premium strategies at the start of implementation, to enable themselves accurately assess the effectiveness of the strategy and activity. Changes and adaptations can then be made to practice and to the strategy where necessary.
Key principles: Teaching and Learning
All staff will have the highest expectations of all pupils, irrespective of backgrounds or barriers to learning. Staff will understand and be sympathetic to those pupils who, for any number of reasons, have been unable to engage with home learning. All will be mindful of not lowering expectations and aspirations for disadvantaged pupils. All staff will used ‘Pivotal’ language when communicating with pupils, to positively impact on children’s wellbeing and self-esteem. Staff at every level will nurture and support all pupils to take pride in their individual achievements. Pupil’s contributions to lessons should be positively encouraged and valued.
Quality First Teaching
Teachers and other classroom-based staff will have a shared understanding of the components of inclusive quality first teaching. These include; differentiation strategies, children’s well-being and involvement, staff’s wellbeing and involvement. Subject and phase leaders will ensure that their daily practise and that of the teachers in their teams is high quality, through observations and monitoring. There will be memorable learning experiences in which all pupils, particularly the disadvantaged, are expected and encouraged to participate.
Improving the literacy of disadvantaged pupils will be a focus in all phases and subjects. All year groups will plan to support the progressive development of literacy skills across the school. Early identification of language skills is crucial and is supported using Wellcomm assessments. Opportunities for language and literacy skills are planned for across the curriculum. The Communication Champions support staff with understand language and vocabulary development and assessment.
Sequencing of the Curriculum
Subject and phase leaders will have responsibility for the quality of the curriculum development and delivery in their subject. It will be carefully planned and sequenced, so that all pupils know more, remember more and progress and achieve at the highest levels. Issues such as background knowledge, cultural capital, literacy and gap in learning should be addressed here.
Teaching strategies will promote independence, self-regulated learning through scaffolding and explicitly teaching pupils to plan, monitor and evaluate their work.
Leaders will ensure that assessment is used to adjust and monitor teaching, whereby staff respond to, and address, gaps in learning so that pupils develop belief in themselves through experiencing success in the classroom. This helps them to become successful learners, and believe that they will achieve well in tests and examinations.
Provision of the younger children, including KS1, will be responsive to need, to prior experience and to developmental stages. It will be experimental with a focus on the Prime Areas of learning of Personal, Social and Emotional, Communication and Language and Physical development.
The PHSE curriculum is designed to ensure that the social and emotional well-being of all pupils is at the heart of our provision.
Key Principles: Academic Intervention and Wider Approaches
High quality provision mapping will be used to ensure that the school avoid intervention and instead uses in class specific grouping.
A whole school approach to improving attendance has been adopted. The attendance officer and PSA’s work together to improve school attendance and to create new and personalised strategies. The attendance office and PSA’s report monthly on attendance data and concerns.
Transition is a process not an event. Points of transition will be carefully planned for and adapted to meet individual pupils needs.
The wellbeing of staff is paramount to the attainment of all pupils, including disadvantaged pupils. It is these colleagues who have the expertise, relationships, energy and emotional resilience to support our most vulnerable children and families best.