The pupil premium is additional funding received by schools for each pupil from disadvantaged families or background. It is allocated to school based on the number of children who come from low-income families - this is defined as those who are currently known to be elible for free school meals. It is important to know that a pupil does not need to have a school dinner, but parents/carers must have appplied and be entitled if they wanted one.
It also includes:
- pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the six years
- children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months
First introduced in April 2011, the level of the premium in 2011-12 was £488 per pupil: it increased to £600 per pupil in 2012-13 then to £1300 in 2013-2014 and now stands at £1320 per pupil. This money is for schools to decided how to use but should be spent in order to improve educational attainment of children from less privleged backgrounds.
This is one of the government's key education policies. It is based on findings that show that, as a group, children who are eligible for free school meals at any point in time have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible for FSM.
Free school meals are available to some children according to family income. It’s important to register for entitlement to free school meals, even if your child has a packed lunch.
Children are entitled to Free School Meals if their parents, carers or guardians receive any of the following:
- Income support
- Income based job seekers allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Guarantee pension credit
- Child Tax Credit, but not Working Tax Credit, and an annual income lower than the limit set by the Government
- Working Tax Credit Run On because you have ceased work or reduced your working hours to less than 16 per week
To find out if your child qualifies for free school meals, and for any help or advice, you can contact school for a form or Blencathra House, Whitehaven
How we spend the pupil premium
In 2012-13 - £21,600 is being used to deliver intervention strategies for those children eligible for the pupil premium.
It's now our job to provide even greater, targeted support for those pupils who need benefit. Staff are aware of which children are eligible for the pupil premium and provide additional, continuous targeted support for those pupils.
The pupil premium is still a relatively new initative so we plan to continually explore ways to spend the money as effectively as possible, and to continually monitor assessment information closely to assess what is working best.
In 2011-12 - £14,152 was used to deliver intervention strategies for those children eligible for the pupil premium. As a result, the majority of children made expected progress or better at the end of summer 2012.