Top of page Skip navigation

Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium Look for the PP icon in the GHLL Review

The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011. It was allocated to children from low-income families who were known to be eligible for free school meals and children who had been looked after continuously for more than six months. Eligibility for the Pupil Premium for 2012–13 was extended to pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years (known as the Ever6 Free School Meals measure). Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months and a smaller amount for the children of service personnel. Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However, they are accountable for how they use the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families and the other target groups. New measures have been included in the performance tables that show the achievement of pupils who attract the Pupil Premium.

Evidence from good practice (Ofsted, The Pupil Premium - How Schools are Spending the Funding Successfully to Maximise Achievement, 2013) show innovative practice to improve outcomes for these children:

  • A primary school that extended their school day by providing a breakfast and support session to FSM pupils and parents by a Learning Mentor to improve attendance.
  • A secondary school that ensures its FSM pupils have access to broad educational experiences, such as residential courses, competing in sporting events and career-linked finance and banking events.
  • A primary school that employ sports coaches to provide physical education lessons and specialist coaching to all pupils in Years 5 and 6, freeing teachers to work with targeted groups during that time.

Other schools that;

  • Employ Learning Mentors or Support Advisers to help develop children’s confidence; using a ‘welcome to school’ room for pupils who had been absent.
  • Are alert to any emotional or social barriers that could have a negative impact on childrens’ learning.
  • Provide quiet study areas after school with tea and toast.
  • Consider how funding could be used to extend pupils’ experiences and skills beyond their academic gains.
  • Provide social and emotional support and ongoing counselling so that children can cope enough emotionally to receive academic support in order to catch up lost ground.
  • Hold summer schools for Year 6 pupils to help them feel more confident when starting secondary school and increase involvement and uptake in clubs by offering a wide range of different sports activities at the summer school. 

There is abundant evidence that healthy, happy children do better academically than those children who are hungry, anxious or unhappy at school. We know from the Gloucestershire Online Pupil Survey that our poorest children are more likely to come to school hungry, feel that they can’t eat healthily at school, do little physical activity outside of school, are less likely to feel safe at home, are more likely to be bullied and less likely to feel confident. School can improve many of these ‘protective factors’ by targeting funds. GHLL measurement tool helps schools to demonstrate the impact of their pupil premium spend through both impact and the value for money this represents.

The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011. It was allocated to children from low-income families who were known to be eligible for free school meals. Eligibility for the Pupil Premium for 2012–13 was extended to pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years (known as the Ever6 Free School Meals measure). Schools currently also receive £1,900 for each pupil who has left local-authority care because of one of the following:

  • adoption

  • a special guardianship order

  • a child arrangements order

  • a residence order

If a pupil has been registered as eligible for free school meals and has also left local authority care for any of the reasons above, they will attract the £1,900 rate. Children who have been in local-authority care for 1 day or more also attract £1,900 of Pupil Premium funding. A smaller amount of Pupil Premium Grant is also available for the children of service personnel who have been eligible at any time in the past four years (known as the Ever5 Service). Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However, they are accountable for how they use the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families and the other target groups. New measures have been included in the performance tables that show the achievement of pupils who attract the Pupil Premium.

Evidence from good practice (Ofsted, The Pupil Premium - How Schools are Spending the Funding Successfully to Maximise Achievement, 2013) reports innovative practice to improve outcomes for these children. Some examples from the case studies are listed:

  • A primary school identified that attendance was low for some pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium. They extended their school day by providing a breakfast and support session to FSM pupils and parents by a Learning Mentor to improve attendance. This was coupled with practical work with families to help them to get their children to school every day on time, improved information about the importance of attendance and more motivating rewards. (page 5)

  • A secondary school that identified “ten top gap busters” including:

  1. Ensures its FSM pupils have access to broad educational experiences, such as residential courses, competing in sporting events and career-linked finance and banking events.

  2. Good facilities for supported self-study– The school considered this to be vital in order to even-out many of the disadvantages that pupils who are eligible for free school meals may face. They are provided with before and after school provision to enable supported self-study. Computer equipment, teaching support and meals are all on hand. This has proved to be one of the most effective mechanisms for helping these pupils to achieve more. (page 7)

  • A change in strategy that led to a primary school employing sports coaches to provide physical education lessons and specialist coaching to all pupils in Years 5 and 6, freeing teachers to work with targeted groups during that time. (page 23)

    Other schools identified a number of nurturing strategies to support learning and improve attendance:

  • One school was aware that some pupils, particularly some who were eligible for the Pupil Premium, did not have any quiet places to study in their homes and that this became a particular issue for Year 11 pupils. Leaders decided to create an after-school study area for Year 11 to use between the end of school and 5.30pm. The atmosphere was reasonably informal but structured, with different subject staff present to support and coach, and tea and toast was available. The sessions were available to all pupils, but those eligible for the Pupil Premium were particularly encouraged to attend, especially if staff thought they needed to. (page 19)

  • At another school a pupil, who was eligible for free school meals, became temporarily looked after in Year 11 following a family trauma. The school first provided her with social and emotional support, and on-going counselling so that she was coping enough emotionally to receive academic support in order to catch up lost ground. (page 21)

  • Poor attendance for some pupils eligible for Pupil Premium was identified in a secondary school as contributing significantly to their underachievement. They had taken a number of actions previously but these had not had the desired impact for this small group. The school decided to appoint a parent support adviser and to ensure that this person was well qualified and experienced. Using Pupil Premium funding, they managed to appoint a former education welfare officer, which they viewed as ‘a huge bonus’. This member of staff had a caseload of about 20 pupils at any one time, and worked with pupils and their parents to solve various issues that were preventing the pupils from attending school. In addition, the school used the funding to set up a ‘welcome to school’ room, staffed by two teaching assistants, as a halfway house for pupils who were finding it difficult to return to school full time after long-term or sporadic absence. (page 18)

Schools can also apply for additional funding under the Pupil Premium Provision to hold summer schools:

  • A secondary school with a high number of students eligible for Pupil Premium targeted pupils in Year 6 about to join their school, and in receipt of free school meals. They also included their younger siblings. An ambitious sports camp was delivered over two weeks using the services of a commercial company. Each day the pupils participated in a variety of activities including football, dance, basketball, cheerleading, cricket and other sporting activities.

  • As a result of the summer school, both children and their parents and carers became more familiar with the secondary school. Evaluation showed that pupils felt confident when they joined the school. The vast majority settled quickly and attributed this at least in part to the confidence that they had gained during the summer school. Parents and carers also got to know the school and many barriers were broken down – attendance at school events and for individual reasons was good for parents and carers of the summer school pupils. Many pupils also joined local sports clubs or wished to continue with the sports they tried during the summer now that they had joined the secondary school. (pages 25 – 26)

The Ofsted report: Supporting children with challenging behaviour through a nurture group approach (July 2011) demonstrates how effective and targeted nurturing can significantly improve the welfare and progress of disadvantaged children.

A report by Public Health England titled: The Link Between Pupils Health and Wellbeing and Attainment (November 2014) found key points of evidence

1. Pupils with better health and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically.

2. Effective social and emotional competencies are associated with greater health and wellbeing, and better achievement.

3. The culture, ethos and environment of a school influences the health and wellbeing of pupils and their readiness to learn.

4. A positive association exists between academic attainment and physical activity levels of pupils.

 

We know from the Gloucestershire Online Pupil Survey that our poorest children are more likely to come to school hungry, feel that they can’t eat healthily at school, do little physical activity outside of school, are less likely to feel safe at home, are more likely to be bullied and less likely to feel confident. School can improve many of these ‘protective factors’ by targeting funds .It is for this reason that we have extended our GHLL measurement tool to help schools demonstrate the impact of their pupil premium spend through measuring the impact of their intervention and the value for money that this represents.

For more information, including local and national effective practice, please see

The Pupil Premium Toolkit - http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/schoolsnet/article/120155/Pupil-Premium-Toolkit.

Toolkit of Strategies to Improve Learning – Summary for Schools, Spending the Pupil Premium, The Sutton Trust – http://www.suttontrust.com/research/teaching-and-learning-toolkit-july-2012/  

Contact us