Pupil premium is additional funding received by schools for each pupil from disadvantaged families or background. It’s allocated to schools based on the number of children who come from low-income families – this is defined as those who are currently known to be eligible for free school meals (FSM). This is one of the current government’s key education policies. It’s based on findings that show that, as a group, children who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in time have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible.
It’s important to know that a pupil does not need to have a school dinner, but the parents / carers should check to see if they are entitled.
It also includes pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years; children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months; and children where a parent serves in the armed forces.
At around £1,000 per eligible pupil, this money is for schools to decide how to use in order to improve educational attainment of children from less privileged backgrounds. The pupil premium has the potential to have a great impact on the attainment, and future life chances, of pupils.
At Edgar Sewter Primary we know that all children are different and have different needs. Therefore, if we feel that a child would benefit in a different way, we will invest pupil premium and support that child in a different way. (This means one or two children may benefit from adult support in a different way, such as small group learning to stretch and challenge.)
A large proportion of our funding is spent on additional classroom support. Staff are aware of which children are eligible for the pupil premium and provide additional, frequent targeted support for these pupils. Teachers are required to produce timetables detailing different support activities: what the learning objective is, when the support will happen, who will lead the support (either the teacher or the teaching assistant) and who will benefit from the support. Children with pupil premium must be part of this.
As our performance data has increased in recent years, so has the effectiveness of the support staff. Their role in class has become more targeted, to include children from low-income families, pre-dating the pupil premium initiative. It has also become more specific (for example, teaching assistants are required to work on specific learning objectives within clear time-frames) and ultimately more effective.