The Pupil Premium is an amount of money given to schools so that they can support young people in care.
The government believes that head teachers and school leaders should decide how to use the pupil premium plus, but it should be spent on something that will help raise the child's level of attainment so that they don't fall behind the working levels of their peers who are not in care.
From April 2018 the Pupil Premium Plus will rise to £2,300 per annum. The money is sent to the local authority (Leicestershire County Council) who pass it on to the school or academy on a termly basis once it has been agreed what the money is going to be spent on.
The Designated Teacher at school ensures PPP is being used effectively and that it is linked to PEP targets to improve educational outcomes. Its usage and subsequent impact should be monitored and discussed at the PEP meeting and recorded in the PEP document.
Use of Pupil Premium Plus for looked after children:
Consideration should be given on whether the child is making expected academic progress, primarily in maths and English. If the child is not making expected progress, focus should turn to the reasons for not doing so; there may be social, emotional, or mental health (SEMH) issues that need addressing before a child can access learning. SEMH concerns should be discussed with the child's social worker and relevant professionals before PPP is allocated in support of this need.
If measures are in place to address SEMH issues appropriately, consideration should be given to investing in supplementary maths and English provision (or any other subject identified as requiring support). Even if the child is making expected progress, it may aid the child to progress even further and support even more positive educational outcomes.
How can Pupil Premium Plus be used?
Here are some of examples of how schools have used Pupil Premium Plus:
- Therapeutic input e.g. Play therapy, Art therapy, Equine therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (through a registered CBT practitioner),
- Counselling (where there is not already, and will not be CAMHS involvement).
- 1:1 tuition in an academic area (including, but not limited to maths and English).
- Private lessons e.g. touch typing, music / dance / drama / singing lessons (particularly where the child can gain accreditation. Up to 40 UCAS points are available for grade 6 in both speech and drama, as well as graded dance. 15 points are available for grade 6 music theory).
- Purchase of equipment for the child's sole use to support learning or development of a skill: e.g. laptop, musical instrument.
- Book purchases e.g. novels, textbooks, magazine subscriptions.
- Costs associated with undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh award.
- Alternative Provision, only for children outside the local Inclusion Partnership remit.
- Dyslexia assessment.
- Private sports lessons, either group or individual, in or out of term time (e.g. football, rugby, tennis, golf, indoor skiing etc.).
- A contribution towards costly residential, educational school trips, only when all other educational needs are being met.
What PPP should not be used for
PPP should not be used to provide provision that would be in place anyway if the child was not in care. It should not be used to supplement the 'pot' for provision that the child would access anyway were they not to have PPP support. For example, if the child has SEN and is behind age related expectations, would that child have routinely accessed additional input e.g. attending a small group intervention class? If so, PPP money should not be allocated to fund this intervention.
Expenditure must neither be used on indirect costs such as administrative meeting time, nor on things that should be funded from elsewhere.
n.b. The Fostering Handbook advises that the foster carer's weekly allowance should cover the following:
- Food including school lunches.
- Activities - including clubs, hobbies and family days out.
- School activities - including trips, holidays and associated equipment.
- Day to day transport by car or public transport.
- Clothing and school uniform.
Other types of Pupil Premium
Schools are also given funding for children who were previously in care, children who now have, or have had Free School Meals in the last six years and children of people in the armed forces. This money is given straight to schools.
They must be able to give good reasons for the decisions that they make and show that the money has raised attainment through:
- The performance tables which show how well young people who qualify for pupil premium are doing compared with other young people of their age.
- The Ofsted inspection framework - school inspectors focus on how well different groups of pupils are doing and in particular those who get the pupil premium.
- The reports for parents that schools have to publish online.