What is The ‘Pupil Premium’?
The Pupil Premium is a grant allocated to schools in addition to the main school budget and relates to pupils from reception year through to the end of Year 11. It is awarded on the basis of the number of children eligible currently for Free School Meals (FSM) or has been eligible since May 2012 and to pupils with a parent/parents currently serving with the armed forces. The funding is seen by the Government as a way to address the current inequalities between children eligible for the Pupil Premium and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most. Children Looked After and in the care of the local authority face additional barriers to reaching their potential and so these children too will receive a premium; as will children who were looked after before being adopted or have/have had a special guardianship order.
‘It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to them is spent since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility’ (source: Department for Education website). As you see schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see best. However, we are still held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support Pupil Premium pupils.
New measures are included in performance tables that will capture the achievement of those pupils covered by the Pupil Premium. From September 2012 schools have been required to publish online information about how they have used the Pupil Premium. This is to ensure parents, guardians, carers and other stakeholders are made fully aware of the attainment and progress of pupils covered by the Pupil Premium.
What is The ‘Catch up Premium’?
The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up. This includes a one-off universal £650 million catch-up premium for the 2020 to 2021 academic year to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time.
Schools’ allocations will be calculated on a per pupil basis, providing each mainstream school with a total of £80 for each pupil in years reception through to 11. Though funding has been calculated on a per pupil or per place basis, schools should use the sum available to them as a single total from which to prioritise support for pupils according to their need.
Schools should use this funding for specific activities to support their pupils to catch up for lost teaching over the previous months, in line with the guidance on curriculum expectations for the next academic year.
Schools have the flexibility to spend their funding in the best way for their cohort and circumstances.