Pupil Premium 2014-15

Frequently asked questions about the Pupil Premium Grant

What is the Pupil Premium?

The Pupil Premium is additional funding paid to schools in respect of their disadvantaged pupils (pupils who have been registered for free school meals (FMS) at any point in the last six years or are looked after continuously by the local authority for more than six months). Schools receive this funding to support their eligible pupils and narrow the attainment gap between them and their peers.

But isn't FSM an inaccurate measure of disadvantage?

FSM is the only pupil level measure of deprivation available. The link between FSM eligibility and underachievement is very strong and data on FSM is easily collected and updated annually.

There are many underperforming groups so why have you mainly targeted the Premium at pupils known to be eligible for FSM?

The Pupil Premium has been targeted at pupils from low income homes using known eligibility for free school meals (FSM) as a proxy, since the evidence is clear that poverty is the single most important factor in predicting a child's future life chances.

Do you think the Pupil Premium will really narrow attainment gaps?

It is not the funding itself that will improve attainment gaps, but how schools use it. Some children require additional support to meet their potential, and the Pupil Premium will provide schools with the resources they need to provide that support. Where funding is carefully targeted, UK studies do show an impact on attainment gaps for disadvantaged pupils � particularly in English and Mathematics.

What is the Pupil Premium allocated on a flat rate basis?

Providing all pupils who are currently known to be eligible for FSM with a fixed and equal amount of funding this year ensures that the system is simple and transparent. Teachers, local authorities and parents can easily understand how much each child is receiving.

How are schools accountable for how they use the Pupil Premium?

Headteachers are free to decide how best to use the Premium to support their Ever6 FSM and Looked After pupils and close the attainment gap between them and their peers. The Department does not want to micro-manage schools, but it does expect them to use the Pupil Premium appropriately and to be accountable

What if parents do not what their child to eat the free meals?

The government is committed to providing nutritious school meals to all pupils including free meals for the most disadvantaged children. However, although taking up the meal is recommended, it is optional. Parents should be encouraged to register their child as eligible for FSM, regardless of whether they want a meal. Schools and Las should make sure they are reassured that this can be done confidentially, and understand that this will bring extra funding to the school to help support. their child. Where relevant, parents should also be told of any other benefits registering might bring e.g. help with the cost of school trips.