Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011. In 2016-17, 25% of all children in schools were eligible for the Pupil Premium (Free School Meal element of the funding) with a total of £1,460,541,060 being allocated to children from low-income families who were eligible for free school meals. Looked after children (those in foster care or care home provision) and those from families with parents in the Armed Forces are also eligible for an element of Pupil Premium funding.
We have a relatively low number of low-income families who are eligible for free school meals (FSM); only 1.7% in 2011-12 when the funding was initially given. This rose to 7.9% of our school population in 2016-17 and in 2017-18, it applies to a greater number of children – 9.6% of our school population. Although this is a substantial rise in 5 years, we are still below the national average.
In addition to pupil premium money for disadvantaged families, we also had 23 children in 2016-17 who had parents in the Armed Forces (or had been in the Armed Forces in the last 5 years), 20% of our school population and this has remained roughly the same (give or take for transition in and out) throughout 2017-8.
Due to the turbulence factor faced by children of serving forces families, we have used our pupil premium service children element of the money to fund an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) who can help numerous children with any personal, social and emotional issues as well as ease transition into and out of school before and after postings. She is also deployed to meet the needs of children from some of our FSM children. We have developed this further in 2017-18 by using the Pupil Premium money to target the growing mental health needs and social and emotional development of our disadvantaged children and those with serving parents in the armed forces through the THRIVE approach to supporting children’s social and emotional development.
It is vital that you check whether your child is entitled to pupil premium money. This provides an extra income for the school which we are directly accountable for in how it affects the outcomes for your child.
We review the impact of our Pupil Premium spend with Governors every term. The next review will take place just before Easter (data gathering) and formally alongside the Improvement Committee after Easter 2018.