What is the Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 to raise the attainment of disadvantaged children and young people (i.e. those eligible for free school meals nationally). The national allocation to schools is £2.4 billion in 2017/18 (£15 million to Islington). This currently equates to £1320 (Primary) and £935 (Secondary) Pupil Premium funding per eligible child, plus £1900 for looked after children.
Schools are free to decide how to spend the Pupil Premium; the money is not ring-fenced. However, they will be held accountable through:
- Performance tables – has the school narrowed the gap?
- The Ofsted framework – how well have governors, leaders and managers driven school improvement and used the Pupil Premium effectively?
- Online reports to parents – all schools must report on their website the amount of Pupil Premium they receive, how it was spent in the previous academic year and how the school intends to spend the current year’s allocation.
While pupils entitled to free school meals make up 13% of all pupils nationally, they represent 28% of children identified with SEND.
Providing effective feedback
‘The most cost effective way of spending the Pupil Premium would be on more effective feedback in the classroom.’ The Sutton Trust
Building independence and self-regulation
Teaching children strategies to motivate themselves and plan and monitor their own learning can be a high-impact approach to raising the attainment of disadvantaged children
Improving the impact of Teaching Assistants
Ofsted found that the most common use of the Pupil Premium was in employing TAs. But worryingly, research from the Institute of Education identifies that the more support a child received from a TA, the less progress a child made.
Positive ways to use TAs include:
- On specific interventions rather than unspecified in-class individual support
Offer TAs training in providing effective feedback
- Allocate time for planning and feedback between teacher and TA
- Encouraging parental engagement
Activities that encourage parents to support their children’s learning can also be effective.
Schools should track the impact of any changes made against the attainment of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium.