Confused over Pupil Premium

(82 Posts)
JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 21:51:13

Hi everyone,

I'm a single parent and currently earn under £10k pa and receive working tax credits. I was led to believe this made us eligible for funding for primary school as it would be the equivalent of FSM. However after applying to the Council I have been told that BECAUSE I am in receipt of working tax credits I am not eligible.
How does this work? Am I meant to give them up so her school can get funding? shock confused

simpson Wed 27-Apr-16 22:11:33

As far as I know, all it means is that you now have to pay for school dinners.

If a child has been receiving FSM and does not qualify anymore then they are still a PP child for a set period of time afterwards (I think 5 years, but could be wrong).

simpson Wed 27-Apr-16 22:13:03

how old is your child? All kids get FSM till age 7 anyway.

exLtEveDallas Wed 27-Apr-16 22:15:35

6 years - child is still entitled to PP for 6 years after being on FSM. If you are getting WTC you are no longer entitled to FSM, but still get PP under the Ever6 rule. You should still apply (through the school) so that the school gets the PP to use for the benefit of your child.

simpson Wed 27-Apr-16 22:18:03

Ha! Just been beaten to it! Yes, just checked and it is 6 yrs.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 22:18:55

She is 4 so still gets FSM, I just though that because I am on a low income we got some support for the school too. I was told we get nothing unless I ditch WTC?

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 22:20:05

So I have to wait until she is 6 because she gets FSM by law and I am on WTC?

bloodyteenagers Wed 27-Apr-16 22:20:37

For fsm also depends on your borough. One near me has fsm for all under secondary school age.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 22:22:01

She is in last term in reception so I think we get FSM until 7 regardless. So is it age related to get pupil premium? The school thought I would get it which is why I applied.

bloodyteenagers Wed 27-Apr-16 22:22:13

With fsm under 6 all children should get it.
The school can only apply for pupil premium if you are not getting wtc.

Nothiittoday Wed 27-Apr-16 22:22:45

I thought it was family income under 16k?

She will get her FSM until the end of KS1. Then you'll have to pay if you aren't entitled. I'm not sure what the income threshold is now.

bloodyteenagers Wed 27-Apr-16 22:26:45

It's £16k and change but you cannot be entitled to wtc. It's daft. Even more so because when UC comes in everywhere,
Even those who was on tc, then you will meet the criteria as long as you don't ear over the cut off.
I know, couldn't make it up.

TheNoodlesIncident Wed 27-Apr-16 22:28:43

I thought Pupil Premium was paid to the school as an additional sum towards helping pupils who are more likely to be at a disadvantage compared to their more affluent cohort? It's not actually monies paid to the parent, but given to the school to level the playing field? Or am I grasping the wrong end of the stick?

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 22:28:44

I don't really understand why. Admittedly it has been a long day and it's not taking much to confuse me!

I thought WTC were to boost my income to the minimum to support a child (food/clothes etc). Is it supposed to be taking me up to 16k - i.e the threshold for a family not entitled to PP?

Is 6k + equivalent to what the school would get? confused

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 22:32:15

Yes, the school suggested it as they can use it to help across the school with SEN and school trips for example.

I don't seem to be left with much choice. If I decline WTC and we fall into the poverty threshold (which tbh I don't think is in doubt atm!) is there another safety net to catch us? Why would they penalise a working single parent like this?
Oh wait... Tories.

MsMermaid Wed 27-Apr-16 22:32:50

You need to be on certain benefits in order to qualify for pp, WTC is not one of those benefits, I don't know why. If you receive JSA or income support, even for a very short time, you are eligible for pp for 6 years, but if you are on a low income claiming wtc you aren't eligible for pp at all. It isn't fair, but those are the rules.

exLtEveDallas Wed 27-Apr-16 22:33:43

I think you might be getting confused with the terminology.

Free school Meals (FSM) are only given to children whose parent is NOT in receipt of working tax credits. Lots of other benefits count, but WTC cancels out that entitlement.

Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) are given to all children in KS1 (Up to Year 2). From Year 3 meals have to be paid for.

Pupil Premium is funding given to a school for children who are in receipt of Free School Meals (not UFSM). If a child has ever been entitled to FSM (not UFSM) then the school will still be able to claim pupil premium for them up to 6 years after the cease to qualify.

If you qualified for FSM before you started work (and started getting WTC) then your child would still qualify for pupil premium funding for 6 years. If you didn't (and this needed to be recorded on the pupil census in March 2015) then the school cannot get it.

bloodyteenagers Wed 27-Apr-16 22:34:06

No the school wouldn't get 6k. Cannot think how much they get but it's nowhere near that. Less than a grand iirc.

No tc wouldn't take you up to 16k. It's just the cut off that was deemed an acceptable amount.

exLtEveDallas Wed 27-Apr-16 22:38:39

These are the benefits you need to receive to qualify for FSM:

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

Income Support
income-based Jobseekers Allowance
income-related Employment and Support Allowance
support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
Universal Credit

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 22:39:50

So if I qualified for FSM before she even started school I could still get it? They have my tax returns at HMRC so I am sure this is possible to prove but unsure why it made no difference on application and I wasn't asked for this information at all.
School have known my income is low as soon as they found out I was a single parent and asked outright! They thought I was eligible as did I.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 22:40:49

So if I stop working and go on JSA I get more money and so does the school?

steppemum Wed 27-Apr-16 22:43:17

PP varies according to age of pupil and why they receive it.

So (little known fact here) PP is also paid to children who are fostered/adopted and and to children of service families.

The highest rate is to Looked After Children, lowest to forces kids. It is more at primary and less at secondary for same children

The rate for kids whose parents get Child tax credit etc is about 1,200 per year.

user7755 Wed 27-Apr-16 22:46:45

Don't think you can get JSA if you have given up work, you also have to apply for loads of jobs every week and if you get one you have to accept regardless of where it is and how it fits with your responsibilities or they take you off it again!

exLtEveDallas Wed 27-Apr-16 22:48:54

I'm afraid I don't know anything about benefits, but I thought JSA was really low? Although your wage is pretty shit too of course - does WTC top you up to a better wage?
It really doesn't make any sense I know.

I think it sounds like school have got confused between working tax credits and child tax credits. If you were in receipt of CTC you would be entitled to FSM, but as soon as you get WTC you no longer qualify.

School doesn't get £6000 pupil premium by the way. I think its about £1200 a year up to Year 6 and about £900 a year from year 7-11

You can't qualify before your kid is in school though, so your previous status wouldn't count (sorry, I didn't catch how old your DC is)

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Wed 27-Apr-16 22:49:38

I wasn't actually going to do it wink I just find it so frustrating!

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