What is the Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium is a grant given to schools to help them close the attainment gap that exists between advantaged and disadvantaged children. It was launched by the Coalition government in April 2011 in a major effort to address the growing body of evidence showing that children who are eligible for Pupil Premium generally face extra challenges in reaching their potential in school, and often don’t perform as well academically as their peers. It is important to understand that the Pupil Premium is not based on ability. Research shows that the most academically able pupils who are eligible for Pupil Premium are most at risk of under-performing. 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 funding is intended to directly benefit the children who are eligible, helping to narrow the gap between them and their classmates.
Who is eligible?
Schools receive Pupil Premium funding based on the number of looked after children (LAC) and children who receive Free School Meals (FSM).
Free school meals: Schools get £1,345 for every primary age pupil who claims free school meals, or who has claimed free school meals in the last 6 years. You can claim free school meals if you receive any of the following support:
- 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
Looked after and previously looked after children: Schools get £2,345 for every pupil who has left local authority care through adoption, a special guardianship order or child arrangements order. Local authorities get the same amount for each child they are looking after; they must work with the school to decide how the money is used to support the child’s personal education plan.
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 us – 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 us to claim Pupil Premium.
The Pupil Premium at Nelson Infant School
In October 2020 we had 61 children on roll who were eligible for Pupil Premium funding. This is 38% of the school cohort. It brought in a total of £67,250 for the academic year 2020 – 2021. It is important to realise that while the funding coming into schools is based on the number of eligible children, it is not a personal bursary. It is up to school leaders to decide how best to spend the Pupil Premium. This is because they are best placed to assess their pupil’s needs and use the additional funding to improve attainment.
A tiered approach at Nelson Infant School
We have adopted a tiered approach, targeting our spending across three areas:
- Quality First Teaching: While some children eligible for Pupil Premium funding might be receiving more targeting academic support (see below), all children benefit from high quality teaching in the classroom. Indeed, research shows that excellent classroom provision has a particular positive benefit for disadvantaged children. The bulk of our Pupil Premium funding is therefore targeted at ensuring a high quality experience in the classroom.
- Targeted academic and pastoral support: We deploy a range of targeted support to meet the academic and pastoral needs of our children and their families. Based on on-going teacher assessment overseen by our SENDCo, and, where necessary, in conversation with families, this can include individual and small group interventions; bespoke in-class support, work with educational professionals and much more besides. We also use Pupil Premium to fund Orchard Class, our alternative provision.
- Wider approaches: Here we aim to tackle a range of significant non-academic barriers to success in school including attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support. We use Pupil Premium to ensure that we can provide a wide range of pastoral and parent support services in school, covering a wide range of needs around attendance, behaviour, social and emotional support, and work with Children’s Services and other educational support, such as:
- Our daily breakfast club
- Music provision for all children in-class, and for those attending our school orchestra
- Educational trips or visits
- Whole school Thrive approach
Monitoring the impact of the Pupil Premium at Nelson Infant School
Measuring the impact of Pupil Premium funding takes many forms. Academic progress is routinely monitored through termly pupil progress meetings, and year group learning looks, with feedback to families provided via scheduled parent teacher meetings as well as through a range of more informal meetings in school. A range of approaches are adopted to measure the impact of interventions around social and emotional support. Thrive profiles are regularly updated by class teachers reflecting gains made through whole class and bespoke reparative interventions. Attendance is monitored in partnership with Norfolk County Council / LEA. If you have any questions around Pupil Premium funding, please contact the school office and arrange a time to speak with a member of the senior leadership team.
Our choices surrounding how to allocate the spending of our Pupil Premium funding are based around the research of the Education Endowment Foundation. Please clink the link below to find out more: