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Pupil premium and academies

(26 Posts)
18yearstooold Tue 27-Jan-15 18:44:15

Both my dds are on free school meals which I believe entitles them both to pupil premium

Dd2 is at primary, they have been fantastic at letting me know what this is spent on (mainly music provision)

Dd1 is at high school, which is an academy

I've just had a letter for a school trip and her music lesson fees are due
I'm a full time student and its a lot of money to find all at once

I'm thinking of asking them if they could use some of her pupil premium to reduce the cost but don't want to look like an idiot if she doesn't get it -do children at academies get this funding?

TeenAndTween Tue 27-Jan-15 18:49:20


18yearstooold Tue 27-Jan-15 18:50:32


Ionacat Tue 27-Jan-15 19:14:04

The pupil premium money should be linked to the pupil, so if the academy aren't spending it on music lessons or reducing the cost of the trip for DD1, ask them what her pupil premium money is being spent on and how it is benefiting your DD.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 27-Jan-15 19:18:50

It isn't linked to a pupil. It is funding for the school. It is to narrow the gap in achievement between pupil premium students and non pupil premium students. We do not routinely pay for trips, nor music lessons. We pay for tutoring, one to ones, revision guides etc for targeted students. There should be a breakdown of spending on the school website.

MirandaWest Tue 27-Jan-15 19:22:28

My DC are entitled to pupil premium but tbh in their cases their attainment is at the top level of both their classes so I don't see how any input into their education through pupil premium would narrow the gap as there isn't any gap to be narrowed.

I have seen the breakdown of how it is spent and tbh none of it is relevant to them. Should it be? It doesn't really bother me, although it would be nice to have contribution to music lessons and trips of course.

MirandaWest Tue 27-Jan-15 19:27:23

Can't find any more up to date figures than 2011/12 for the DCs school but looking at the amount they received and the amount per pupil it is clear that my DC made up 40% of it.
I really am glad it is helping others but feel it should somehow help my DC as well. Maybe I'll speak to the head teacher although I'd feel a bit daft doing it blush

18yearstooold Tue 27-Jan-15 19:27:58

Dd doesn't need any tutoring or intervention

Dd2 is getting music because she doesn't need any interventions either

I was just checking if pp was the same at academies and lea schools

titchy Tue 27-Jan-15 20:01:10

Fallen - it should be targeted APPROPRIATELY. if you have pp kids who don't need 121 etc then you SHOULD be using it for music lessons etc.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 27-Jan-15 20:23:22

I'm not sure it should. If a student doesn't require additional support to achieve their potential, then we don't force them into tutorials of course. Schools are held accountable for the attainment gap. The money needs to be spent on closing that. It is up to schools to decide how that is best achieved, and the consequences for getting it wrong are significant. It is not to provide services to individual children.

titchy Tue 27-Jan-15 20:42:22

What if their potential is become a world class violinist? Except they never got the chance to fulfil that potential because their parents couldn't afford lessons and their school used THEIR pupil premium funding on someone else, who effectively got twice as much support as they were entitled to?

TheFallenMadonna Tue 27-Jan-15 20:45:09

It is not their pupil premium funding. It is the school's.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 27-Jan-15 20:46:42

"twice as much support as they are entitled to"?? That is not how it works.

prh47bridge Tue 27-Jan-15 22:48:09

There are actually two separate questions here. Let me start with the school trip. Assuming you are still receiving the benefits that qualified your daughters for free school meals the school cannot charge you for school trips. They can request a voluntary contribution but that is all. Even if you are not receiving those benefits they can only charge you for the actual cost of board and lodging. Anything beyond that must be a voluntary contribution.

Moving on to the music lessons, as others have said, academies get the pupil premium but it is funding for the school, not for the child. The funding agreement allows the school to spend the money however it wants. However, Ofsted will expect the school to show that they have used it to improve the performance of disadvantaged pupils at the school. They will not expect the school to show that they have spent the full amount individually on each child affected. So the school has almost certainly got plans for spending the pupil premium. It is not your money to spend. The school may voluntarily use it to reduce music lesson fees but you cannot insist that they do so.

prh47bridge Tue 27-Jan-15 22:49:11

Correction - where I said "the funding agreement allows..." I should have said "the conditions of the grant allow..."

18yearstooold Tue 27-Jan-15 22:51:15

I was on job seekers but i'm now a full time student so they get FSM due to income now

I was of the mindset 'it doesn't hurt to ask' rather than stamping my feet grin

ravenAK Tue 27-Jan-15 23:09:59

Incorrect re: the school trips, prh47bridge.

This applies to trips which are essential as part of the curriculum. So if a child could not pass GCSE Geography without completing an internally assessed component that entailed writing about a field trip, then school MUST take offer the entire Geog GCSE cohort access to a field trip that they don't have to pay for.

This doesn't mean that school must pay for (less voluntary contributions) the optional Geog trip to Naples, say - for PP students or anyone else - they'd just have to offer a funded alternative for students who didn't opt for that trip.

A large proportion of our PP budget is actually spent on reducing the costs of trips, but an even larger proportion is spent on paying the salaries of two fulltime members of staff to offer English/Maths boosters to those who could do with them - as Mirandawest has said, this doesn't necessarily equate to boosting the students who attract the PP funding!

It's an imperfect, broadbrush measure whereby schools which have higher levels of students from poorer backgrounds get more money to improve the attainment of those students - as a cohort, not on a case by case basis.

It's not ringfenced, to the extent that the HT could in theory re-decorate her study, treat herself to a fab painting or two, buy herself a nice tea-set & have a selected group of students in for very posh tea & biccies once a half term for a chat, if she thought she could persuade Ofsted that this would inspire them & raise the attainment of PP eligible students throughout the school.

Iwantacampervan Wed 28-Jan-15 07:24:42

In our county children on FSM get free music lessons provided by the county teachers (not taken out of Pupil Premium).

titchy Wed 28-Jan-15 08:00:44

Ahhhh it appears it's only specialist provision where the pp has to be spent on the actual pupil, not mainstream.

(I still think music lessons are a good use of the money - what better way of narrowing the gap between a bright rich kid and a bright poor one!)

prh47bridge Wed 28-Jan-15 17:00:59

This applies to trips which are essential as part of the curriculum

If you mean it only applies to those trips I'm afraid you are wrong. Whether or not the school must pay for the optional Geography trip to Naples you mention depends on when it takes place.

The only circumstances in which a school can charge the full cost of a visit are where the visit is not designed to fulfil a statutory requirement (e.g. national curriculum, exam syllabus, etc.) AND either:

- the visit is not residential and less than 50% of it takes place during school hours, or

- the visit is residential and the number of half day school sessions missed is less than 50% of the number of half days taken by the visit including travel

So if the optional Geography trip takes place during half term you can charge the full cost. However, if it runs, say, for a week during term time, starting one Saturday and returning the following Saturday, the fact it is optional would be irrelevant and the rules I set out in my post above apply, i.e. charges for board and lodging only which must be remitted in full for families on specified benefits.

ravenAK Wed 28-Jan-15 19:31:04

You might well be correct about the 'school hours' stipulation - interesting to know.

It's not a situation that ever really occurs for us other than tiny, cheap, local trips which fulfil statutory curriculum requirements. Optional jollies simply don't happen in school hours these days IME.

Eg: Drama GCSE need to write about a performance for a Controlled Assessment - so off they all go in the minibus & a couple of taxis to the local theatre for a cheap matinee. Or L&T nip to the local tourist attraction. Or History to the rather nice castle down the road.

However, I'm jointly running a trip to the west End in a few weeks with the Head of Drama - it's an overnighter; we're out of school on a Friday but not back until Saturday night. I'm also off to Greece for a week next year... again, we're only taking two days out of school, the rest is a half term.

So these are not covered by the 'voluntary contributions' rule - no-one has to go, & it's less than 50% in school time.

There's simply no circumstances, however, in which the HT would be signing off me taking 40 kids out of school for 50% of a 'non-essential' trip (never mind how the kids pay - the supply bill would be prohibitive & anyhow it's just too disruptive), so not a problem we're ever likely to have to address! I think we're fairly typical in this respect.

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 28-Jan-15 19:49:08

Pupil Premium Plus is focused on individual children; Pupil Premium on the overall cohort

Quitethewoodsman Thu 29-Jan-15 06:51:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Frannydango Fri 30-Jan-15 07:41:16

prh47bridge could you direct me to the policy you are quoting from? Our school do run non compulsory trips during term time and we operate on an 'individual need' basis rather than a blanket rule for PP. It would be very useful to see what these guidelines say.

prh47bridge Fri 30-Jan-15 10:24:51

Frannydango - This is actually the law rather than policy - Education Act 1996 S449-462. It is summarised in the DfE advice on charging for school activities which you can find here. There is also a useful flowchart provided by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom which some people find easier to understand than the government guidance. The flowchart is on page 3 of this document. The DfE guidance actually includes a link to this document, which gives reassurance that the flowchart is accurate.

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