The Pupil Premium provides additional funding on top of the main funding a school receives for its pupils. It is targeted at students who are entitled to free school meals, have been entitled to free school meals in the previous 6 years, are in Local Authority Care for 1 day or more, were recently adopted from care, or who are the children of service personnel.
It aims to ensure that these pupils benefit from the same opportunities as other students. The amount each student receives ranges from £300 for pupils from service families to £1,900 for those who are in Local Authority care. These amounts are an increase on previous years. How the Pupil Premium is spent is monitored closely with all schools accountable for the impact of the money spent.
Why is there a Pupil Premium?
Nationally, pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in their school career have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible. In 2013, GCSE statistics showed that only 38% of students who have been on free school meals in the previous six years achieved five or more A*- C grades, compared to 65% of students who were not eligible for free school meals. In Havering, this gap was 3% wider than the national gap.
For pupils who are looked after, the situation is even more challenging: nationally, only 15% of pupils in local authority care achieve 5 GCSE grades A* – C including English and Maths.
Of course, these statistics generalise across the country, regions and local authorities and it is also the case that many individual pupils who receive free school meals, or come from other eligible backgrounds, continue to buck this trend and achieve highly. Nonetheless, as groups, this is less likely than other groups of pupils. The Pupil Premium is designed to provide money to schools in order to close these gaps.
How would I apply for Pupil Premium Funding for my child?
You do not need to apply for Pupil Premium funding. Your child is automatically entitled if they:
- are from a service personnel family
- have been eligible for Service Child Premium in the past 4 years
- are looked after by the local authority/in foster care for one day or more
- were adopted from care since 2005 or were placed on a Special Guardianship or Residence Order immediately after being looked after.
- have had free school meals at any point in the past 6 years (Ever 6)
- are eligible for free school meals now.
Please note, pupils can choose not to take the free school meal each day but the funding is allocated against their entitlement. We would urge any parent whose child is eligible for free school meals to apply for it, as this releases the funding that can be used to support their child. The free school meals system is managed with complete discretion. We have a cashless system; therefore students are unaware of who is on free school meals and who is paying.
The Local Authority automatically informs us if a child is eligible for free school meals now or has been in the past 6 years, or if they are in local authority care. However, we are not informed about pupils adopted from care, on a Special Guardianship or Residence Order, or those from service personnel families. If you think you may qualify under these categories, please contact Mrs Sears at the school.
If you would like to discuss your child’s eligibility for Pupil Premium funding, then please contact Mrs Sears at the school and she will be able to help you. Additionally, if your child is already entitled to the Pupil Premium and you wish to discuss how the money is spent, or have ideas on how this money may benefit your child, please contact Mrs Sears. You can ring the school on 01708 250500 or contact her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I apply for free School Meals?
This website provides details of how to apply: https://www.havering.gov.uk/Pages/Services/Free-SchoolMeals.aspx
Essentially, you are entitled to free school meals for your child if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment Support Allowance
- Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (but NOT Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income of less than £16,190
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
How will the Impact of the spending of the Pupil Premium be measured?
To monitor progress on attainment, new measures will be included in the performance tables that will capture the achievement of students covered by the Pupil Premium and will also be monitored in any inspection of the school. At The Coopers’ Company and Coborn School the usual cycle of data collection and the monitoring and tracking of the cohort’s attainment will be used to inform student progress and enable the early identification of need, support and appropriate intervention. Additionally, each intervention paid for by the Pupil Premium is subject to monitoring, review and evaluation by the Pupil Premium Co-ordinator, Mrs Sears and, through her, by the Senior Leadership Team and Governors.
The below documents contain further information on how the Pupil Premium is spent at Coopers’ Coborn as well as the impact the funding is currently having. In addition, the role of our Pupil Premium Co-ordinator, Mrs Sears, is explained in further detail.