Pupil premium...can someone explain this, please..

(41 Posts)
Misfitless Sun 01-Dec-13 20:49:23

I've just read on another thread that if a child at any point in their education has been entitled to free school dinners, then this automatically means they are exempt from paying for school trips.

I've paraphrased this, and not sure if this is accurate or not. Can someone clear this up for me, please?

MirandaWest Sun 01-Dec-13 20:51:03

I've never heard that one.

My DC had free school meals very briefly when XH and I first split and before I was working enough hours to get WTC. Does that mean that the school gets pupil premium for them? I can pay for school trips so I do.

TooTiredToBeCreative Sun 01-Dec-13 20:55:44

The school receives PP for children who have FSM. This is extra funding to be spent on those children to enhance their education and "close the gap" (typically children on FSM don't do as well as their peers) Schools can spend PP as they see fit, as long as it directly benefits those children. This may include funding school trips. I dont think they become exempt from paying for school trips exactly but the school is likely to agree to fund it if the parent cant pay. Schools are required to have a breakdown of what PP has been spent on, on their websites.

MirandaWest Sun 01-Dec-13 21:04:52

So is pupil premium there for children who have had fsm at some point in the last 6(?) years?

NorthernShores Sun 01-Dec-13 21:08:23

We had fsm for a few weeks as I was under the impression the school then got the premium for several years.

Now we are no longer eligible for fsm ourselves though I didn't think the money directly tracked to us? (Would be useful if it did!)

sittinginthesun Sun 01-Dec-13 21:12:58

Haven't got the info in front of me, but PP is now payable to the school if a pupil has been on FSM at anytime in the past 6 years.

It is paid to the school, they choose how to spend it, no say from the parent, and the school have to be able to demonstrate that it has improved standards etc in the FSM group of children.

So it can be a trip, if the child would not otherwise have gone, breakfast club, if a child is not being fed/getting to school on time, or extra teachers/assistants in class.

MirandaWest Sun 01-Dec-13 21:13:33

I looked at the DCs schools website and it shows how much PP they got in 2011/12 and 2012/13. Figure is higher for 2012/13 as it is now for children who have had FSM in the last 6 years.

Having seen how it is used I am glad it is there but it isn't needed off my DC and I can tell they don't access what it is being used for IYSWIM. Is it meant to attach to children who have had FSM?

If it's for any children who've had FSM in the last 6 years presumably some have left that school. Could more than one school both get PP for the same child?

MirandaWest Sun 01-Dec-13 21:16:00

So will my DC be tracked as FSM children and they need to improve due to that (I obviously hope they improve anyway smile)

Ruprekt Sun 01-Dec-13 21:16:08

Children on fsm are entitled to free school trips.

Sam100 Sun 01-Dec-13 21:17:18

PP can be claimed by a school if a child has been on FSM at some stage in the previous 6 years. It is at the school's discretion as to how that money is spent. Some of it may well be used to fund school trips for kids that could not otherwise go - but it is not a requirement. Sometimes it might be spent on additional teaching resources so that kids can be taken out of the main class to work in focus groups and improve numeracy or literacy. Sometimes it might be used to fund music lessons for a FSM child with a talent that could otherwise not develop. It is really down to the school. But they do have to produce an annual report to detail how the money has been spent.

lougle Sun 01-Dec-13 21:20:08

Yes, it's called 'Ever6 FSM' - in other words, if the child has ever had free school meals, for even a day, in the previous 6 years, the school gets a premium of £900 for that child, for that year.

Service children attract a £250 premium per child.

Children who have been in care for 6 months plus get a premium of £900. From April 2014, any child in care, who has left care under adoption or Special Guardianship Order will attract a £1900 Premium plus.

sittinginthesun Sun 01-Dec-13 21:22:35

I think it follows the child - so if a child leaves the school, the pp follow. I think.

ShoeWhore Sun 01-Dec-13 21:23:54

Miranda the school gets pupil premium funding for any child who has been entitled to FSM in the last 6 years (sometimes called Ever6 FSM) but the funding follows the child so only the school they are currently at gets it.

Schools can spend the money as they see fit but are required to demonstrate that they are "closing the gap" between PP children and non-PP children. Many schools use some of the money to subsidise school trips but there is no requirement to do so.

Talkinpeace Sun 01-Dec-13 21:29:34

Pupil Premium can be used for essential to the curriculum trips

so going to see a play as part of English : yup, the PP will cover it
going skating as a christmas jolly : your problem

on each permission slip there will be a box to tick if its a PP eligible outing and you can ask that the PP covers it
but that it ONLY ONLY if you get PP and its a relevant trip

schools have to account for their use of PP to ofsted

Misfitless Sun 01-Dec-13 21:36:42

Thanks everyone. That's really helpful.

ravenAK Sun 01-Dec-13 21:36:48

I organise lots of trips at the school where I teach.

I have a list of kids who attract PP, & we usually offer them a 50% discount on trips. I have to fill in a funding request which is (usually) approved by the member of Senior Leadership Group who is responsible for PP - I'm expected to make out a case for it having an educational impact, so theatre or overseas trips are fine, but something like a random theme park jolly would be harder to argue.

The money is also spent on things like 1-1 tutoring in English & Maths - not necessarily exclusively for the students on the PP list, but Ofsted would again need us to show that they were benefitting from it.

MirandaWest Sun 01-Dec-13 22:02:11

I'm glad it can only be used in one school at once.

I've never been told by school about the pupil premium in terms of it applying to my DC. And trips just say that if you have a problem paying to speak to the school - doesn't mention PP.

My DC are possibly unusual in that there doesn't seem to be a gap in terms of attainment between them and non PP children so I'm not sure how the school could show the gap has been lowered. There's a low percentage of children who have FSM at their school so each child would be quite big percentage wise.

NorthernShores Sun 01-Dec-13 22:10:08

I understand current pupils eligible for fsm being offered reduced trips etc, and the PP going ino the "pot".

However, as we are someone who has had fsm in the last 6 years (recently) surely we can't tick that box anymore as we are no longer eligible?

NorthernShores Sun 01-Dec-13 22:11:51

( I suspect we muck their statistics up anyway, child is a highflyer as she ought to be - well educated parents etc).

I was very much under the impression the pp went into a general pot that could be used at the schools discretion? I'm not sure my daughter would benefit from any help to low ability children for example but I'm happy for the money to go where its needed.

Bradsplit Sun 01-Dec-13 22:12:58

Anyone who's claimed certain benefits in the previous five years. I thought. School need to account for it. More than "we've employed mrs x". It's got to show direct impact.

Bradsplit Sun 01-Dec-13 22:13:47

Miranda. Your school sounds a bit disorganised.

Ask them where it is. OFSTED will also ask

Bradsplit Sun 01-Dec-13 22:14:54

Oh. What everyone else said. It's 6 years

Talkinpeace Sun 01-Dec-13 22:22:24

the PP does not have to be spent on your child
it has to be spent on supporting your child which might even involve throwing resources at removing the disruptive kid so that your one can relax and excel
schools have to justify it, but are allowed to think laterally

AngelsWithSilverWings Sun 01-Dec-13 22:32:32

I'd love to know what my children's school will do with the extra money they will get from April.

Both my DCs are adopted and will attract pupil premium from April. The school is in a very affluent area and gets the lowest pupil premium funding in the whole borough.

I don't think the pupil premium will make any huge difference to my DCs and I assume it will just be absorbed into the schools budget?

Talkinpeace Sun 01-Dec-13 22:34:43

Angels you have the right to ask - but chances are that 20% uplift in funding for your kids will help

ravenAK Sun 01-Dec-13 22:35:41

Ofsted will ask: 'How are you spending your PP budget? How has this had an impact?'

Just parking it with the general school's budget wouldn't be the answer they're looking for!

ReluctantBeing Sun 01-Dec-13 22:35:42

Pupil premium covers more than just students on free school meals. How a school spends the pupil premium money is up to them, and it might not automatically mean free trips.

sittinginthesun Sun 01-Dec-13 22:36:11

Angels - Ofsted are very hot on this. The school have to show exactly where it's spent, and have to show that it has narrowed the gap. The teachers have to track PP children very carefully to show progress.

Hassled Sun 01-Dec-13 22:39:54

It's known as Ever 6 - FSM claimants at any point within the last 6 years. And it's far from easy money for schools - you have to be able to show tangible impact, whether on attendance or reductions in exclusions or attainment or whatever. It can't just " be absorbed".

Bradsplit Sun 01-Dec-13 22:40:27

It's not allowed to be absorbed. That's the thing

NorthernShores Sun 01-Dec-13 22:45:14

My daughter has 100 pee cent attendance and is high achieving ( well, not by mn standards but it's a low achieving area so she's already in a high achieving small group but they're only doing what would be normal else where!)

The pp won't directly help her, but it's a large fsm area I suspect en mass it goes to extra staff and pastoral workers etc.

sittinginthesun Sun 01-Dec-13 22:49:02

Northern - you'd be amazed by the tracking. Regardless of her current levels, they still have to show improved progress as a result of the PP money. So if she's doing well, this may cover extension work, or extra school clubs she could benefit from.

NorthernShores Sun 01-Dec-13 22:55:04

Looking at the schools policies it looks like only70% of a pp funded intervention has to benefit fsm children. They've got a fully worked out policy but the examples of places the money goes are pastoral care, reduced class sizes one to one.

Tracking my daughter specifically would be interesting add she'd met many of her reception goal s by the end of pre school. My husband was made redundant from a well paid job and I've had ill health. Not ideal but in my daughters class she's one of the ones least likely to need the money!

daphnedill Sun 01-Dec-13 23:02:20

My Year 11 ds is an "Ever 6 FSM" child and the school has been allocated £900 for this academic year. It really isn't that unusual for schools to receive funding for high achieving pupils. He already has three A*s taken in Year 10 and his target grades for his remaining GCSEs are all As and A*s. He will receive approximately £50 of revision books recommended by the school. The school has funded an open day to Cambridge Uni to raise his aspirations. It will also use its contacts to ensure that he gets the same kind of work experience in Year 12 which the children of parents in high-flying jobs will find easier to organise.

NorthernShores Sun 01-Dec-13 23:12:12

Wow that's fab. My daughter's in reception and is no longer on fsm. I think the policy more or less says the money isn't specifically allocated to your child. I'd love to link to the policy but it would out me.

Obviously I'm interested as selfishly we're still in a financial pickle so it would be helpful obviously. Looking at her class though I just can't see her being the one they'd target anything at!

The policy says something along the lines of targeting social deprivation and they've aware or won't precisely tally with those on fsm. There will be those on fsm who aren't in need and those who are in need bit not on fsm.

We're paying full price for an after school club. I believe breakfast club is subsidised for those on fsm but we can no longer tick that box, just one could if that makes sense.

My confusion is on being someone who qualifies as having been on fsm rather than currently.

AngelsWithSilverWings Sun 01-Dec-13 23:15:56

This tracking of PP children sounds interesting.In fact this is a very interesting thread.

DS is one of the very bright ones and has always been top of the class in literacy and numeracy.The school is a very pushy one.It is very proud of it's results and position in the league tables. He is never allowed to rest on his laurels and his teacher pushes and pushes him.This is now,before he has to be tracked! I wonder how much more they will want from him to meet their target! the poor boy is going to be worked into the ground!

DD is the opposite.She can be very slow to pick things up. Her speech is still not great even at 5 years old. She is currently getting extra reading help which is great. The pupil premium will hopefully mean that she gets even more help.

MirandaWest Sun 01-Dec-13 23:56:08

NorthernShores my DC are also high flyers (and in a fairly high achieving school). I don't see it's fair that any pupil premium the school gets gives them any extra support as I really don't think they need it. But they may well be an anomaly.

Am tempted to ask the school about pupil premium but will probably leave it grin

MirandaWest Mon 02-Dec-13 00:03:53

Looked at numbers of children eligible for FSM and for PP. It's 8 for FSM and 11 for PP. So 2 of the ex FSM are my DC and there's another child. Overall FSM level is 3.3% which is pretty low.

daphnedill Mon 02-Dec-13 00:55:07


You could try having a chat with the headteacher and explain your situation, if the breakfast club is funded by the school. PP money isn't supposed to be used to supplement SEN provision, but for all the other purposes people have mentioned. If you're receiving Child Tax Credits or have a low income, the school might consider subsidising your place.

The question should be "Is this child's education suffering as a result of lack of wealth?" (or something like that). My ds goes to a high-achieving school, where many of the parents are also wealthy. Most of them can afford to buy revision books, hire tutors, take their offspring on holidays to expand their cultural horizons, make sure their offspring have newish-looking school uniforms (so they don't get bullied), pay for extra-curricular activities, organise interesting work experience placements in their own workplace or with friends, etc. etc.

I was a bit peeved that the school was receiving £900 for my ds, but not spending ANY of it on him, as he's high-achieving. I looked at the school's accounts and realised that most of the money was disappearing into the general budget and, what's more, the gap between the PP pupils and the others was a massive 50% at GCSE (A*-C inc Maths and English). I contacted the school to voice my concerns and the policy was updated, not so much because of my ds, but because the school realised it would be slated by OFSTED - it's "outstanding", but will lose that unless it closes the achievement gap. However, I was asked for my opinion on the new policy, so parents can sometimes bring about change.

NorthernShores Mon 02-Dec-13 06:38:38

I think our school has a reasonable policy. We're in a high free school meal area and any intervention had to have at least70% of those on free school meals included. They state it won't match exactly as that might not match need.

It is a very disadvantaged area I've realised. It's explicitly stated the pp money isn't used for those statemented.

I don't think I could demand is spent on my child specifically. Especially as we're no longer on fsm anyway. The school has a policy of anyone being able to say if they can't afford something and most things are kept very cheap. They're an ace school with great care and results given the intake.

lifeissweet Mon 02-Dec-13 07:32:00

My school is in a very disadvantaged area. The percentage of fsm is large and the money we receive for it is enormous! We don't explicitly offer to subsidise school trips - the plans for spending pp are more strategic than that and are spent in extra, targeted clubs, equipment, iPads, software, additional support staff for interventions...etc.

The problem is that our own data shows no general disparity whatsoever between fsm children and others - so we are made to throw resources and money at an almost arbitrary bunch of children and make sure we prove that they have made accelerated progress. Although the money is undoubtedly helpful, I am not sure it always achieves the aims the Government would wish.

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