Pupil premium is additional funding received by schools for each pupil from a disadvantaged 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 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 £1,300 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.
How we spend the pupil premium
Our Pupil Premium Plans show how we’re using the pupil premium funding:
At Tranmere Park 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 their own way. (This means some children may benefit from adult support in a different way, such as small group learning to stretch and challenge – ‘Rapid Maths’ and ‘Fresh Start’ Literacy sessions for example.)
We review our Pupil Premium strategy annually and use the information from this to plan for the following year.
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.
What impact has it had?
Our Pupil Premium evaluations show how we’re using the funding and assess the impact it has had:
A letter (26 January 2015) from Rt Hon David Laws, then Minister of State for Schools, congratulating us on our work with disadvantaged pupils, sums up the impressive impact our provision has:
It gives me great pleasure to write to you and congratulate your school on your key stage 2 results for disadvantaged pupils since 2012. Your results show that you are highly effective in educating your disadvantaged pupils. It is clear that you and your staff have provided your disadvantaged pupils with a good start in life and prepared them well for secondary school.
I would like to congratulate your staff, governors, parents and pupils for their hard work and success, and thank you for your leadership in making such a difference to the future success of your pupils. Finally, I would also encourage you to share your achievements with other schools so that they learn from your strengths and experience.
We monitor the outcomes of our support on an ongoing basis. As we have a very low percentage of children entitled to FSM, publishing data on individual pupils would mean that children were identifiable, however, we thoroughly track all children’s learning internally and all PPG pupils made excellent progress.
As governors, we have received a full briefing from the head teacher to review the progress of all children in receipt of pupil premium. As noted above, as the percentage of children in receipt of pupil premium is very low, it is inappropriate (for data protection reasons) to comment in detail on outcomes. However, it is fair to say that each child at TPPS in receipt of pupil premium has a clear teaching plan taking into account their specific needs to help ensure that they are on track to achieve similar levels of educational attainment as those children who are not eligible for the funding. As a cohort, thanks to their own individual efforts, combined with the initiatives put in place as a result of pupil premium funding and the support of teachers and support staff, all pupil premium children (academic year 2015/2016) achieved fantastic results and should be extremely proud of their achievements.
A.Whelan, Pupil Premium Governor, September 2016