What is Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium is additional funding given to schools so they can support their disadvantaged students and close the attainment gap between them and their peers. After prior attainment, poverty is the single most important factor that can impact on a child’s future life chances. Attainment gaps between pupils from low-income families and their more affluent peers persist through all stages of education, including entry into Higher Education. The Government believes that the Pupil Premium grant, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage, reaches the pupils who need it most.
Who qualifies for Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium was first introduced in 2011 and is paid into schools. It is allocated to children from low-income families who are currently eligible for free school meals (FSM) and children who have been ‘looked after’ (in the care of the local authority) continuously for more than 6 months.
The Pupil Premium is also given to schools for children whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces. In 2012 the government topped up the Pupil Premium to cover those children who have received FSM or been ‘looked after’ at any stage during the last 6 years. Newly arrived students from Ukraine, studying at MRC are also eligible for the Pupil Premium. Their parents or guardians can apply for and receive free school meals.
How is Pupil Premium money spent?
The schools spend the Pupil Premium grant as they see fit and they need to decide what the aim of the grant is for their schools. This depends on context e.g., the school, the teachers (knowledge and experience), the learners (attainment and social background) and the educational outcomes that require improvement. Pupil Premium students’ progress will be monitored after each assessment point.
What are the main barriers to educational achievement that disadvantaged students face and how can schools best support them?
The Education Endowment Fund (EEF) has a website that looks at as much research as possible on making a difference to pupils’ progress. Their work is a highly recommended source of information. Several other institutions have also researched the challenges facing students from disadvantaged families. These publications include reports from: The Sutton Trust (Cracking the Code), The Fair Education Alliance, The Social Mobility Commission, Tackling Child Poverty (West Sussex):
Many of the report’s findings are common knowledge among schools. They include statements that are relevant to our college:
Reports encourage schools to invest in best practice, which includes the following points:
Promote quality first teaching to close literacy and numeracy gaps.
Provide students with a broad educational experience.
Promote skills that enable self-supported study.
Low-income pupils benefit from peer group effects by staying in class where teaching is of high-quality.
Attainment will frequently precede aspirations.
Good attendance is vital for disadvantaged students to make good progress.
Schools must promote knowledge and understanding of factors affecting disadvantaged students.
Pupil progress is highest for pupil premium and all students when staff have high standards and expectations.
More information about claiming the Pupil Premium (PP) or free school meals
Parents can apply for the Pupil Premium (even if they don’t want to take up free school meals), as this funding can assist your child in many other ways, from extra tuition (grants towards peripatetic music lessons for example) to assistance with books and materials. In order to benefit from this extra funding, please contact the Business Manager, Mrs Kath Chard (Katherine.Chard@mrc-academy.org). If you need help applying or if you need more information from the Local Authority (and an application form) click on the link below.
Midhurst Rother College accounts for all Pupil Premium money in an open and responsible way and all provision is regularly reviewed and evaluated.
Please read about our detailed plans regarding our Pupil Premium expenditure here.