What is Pupil Premium? The National Picture
Pupil Premium was introduced by the Government in April 2011. It was designed to give additional money to support schools in raising the attainment of children who receive free school meals and those children in local authority care. These groups of children have been identified nationally as achieving at a lower level than children from less disadvantaged backgrounds. For example, national figures show that 11 year olds who are eligible for Free School Meals are around twice as likely not to achieve in maths and English as other 11 year olds.
Where does the money come from?
Pupil Premium is allocated to schools based on the number of children who are currently known to be eligible for Free School Meals and children who have been looked after in local authority care. The level of Pupil Premium in 2014/15 was £1323 per pupil. The purpose of the Pupil Premium is to help schools to provide targeted support for vulnerable children – not necessarily just children who qualify for FSM. “It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools per FSM pupil, is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.” Source – DfE website. The funding is therefore given to schools to spend as they think best, although there is a requirement to publish online how this money is spent.
Pupil Premium at Owslebury Primary School
- To carefully track the progress of pupils who belong to vulnerable groups and ensure appropriate provision is in place
- To ensure teaching and learning opportunities meet the needs of all pupils
- To raise attainment of vulnerable children in reading, writing and maths by accelerating progress so that it is at least in line with national expectations
- To provide emotional and social support to children.
At Owslebury Primary we carefully consider how we use our Pupil Premium amount for each of our children. We track the progress of our children half termly as part of our ‘Pupil Progress’ meetings. This enables us to monitor progress and identify if our FSM and vulnerable children are under performing. If support is required this can then be implemented whether this is additional one to one booster, further SEN support, or support from outside agencies. Before making a decision on allocating the funds, we consider, based on our tracking information, the historical and current progress of each child. The vast majority of our pupils are performing at or above national average levels. If this is the case our emphasis on the allocation of the fund is based on ensuring that these pupils are not disadvantaged in taking part in our wider curriculum opportunities.
We are well staffed at Owslebury Primary School and children in all year groups learn in classes where the staff team includes a teacher and support staff. Children are familiar with working in groups of different sizes, at different times of the day, with different adults. Children of all abilities have the opportunity to work on a 1:1 basis or in a small group with an adult. Within this type of organisation, we do give children extra support when they need it.
The Pupil Premium funding has allowed us to continue and extend what we already do – to monitor children’s progress and to give additional support when required. Children are certainly not singled out or stigmatised for getting some extra attention and we would never label a child in front of other children for receiving free school meals or being in care.