“Pupil premium is funding to improve education outcomes for disadvantaged pupils in schools in England. Evidence shows that disadvantaged children generally face additional challenges in reaching their potential at school and often do not perform as well as other pupils.” Pupil Premium: An Overview.
So, that’s what it is which is the easy part. Finding out how it’s being used in your child’s education establishment, and getting it to be used to help them, is a whole different issue.
Pupil premium starts in nurseries and pre-school. It aims to help early years providers improve the education they give to disadvantaged children which includes those who are adopted. I have to say, I didn’t realise until recently that this was the case. So, I don’t know what provisions either of the two nurseries our girls attended, had in place to use the funding.
Pupil Premium Plus
Pupil Premium Plus applies to the following types of school:
- mainstream infant, primary, middle, junior, secondary and all-through schools serving children aged 5 to 16
- schools for children with special educational needs or disabilities
- pupil referral units (PRUs), for children who do not go to a mainstream school
The funding currently entitles schools to an additional £2410 per eligible child. How the funding is allocated is up to each individual school. It has to be spent so that the eligible child benefits, but that doesn’t mean non-eligible children don’t benefit as well.
For example, a school may decide to spend some of the funding giving teachers additional training on a particular area such as trauma awareness, that will benefit an eligible child. But having those skills will benefit all pupils who are taught by those teachers, not just the eligible child. If your child requires additional support that the school can’t provide, the fund can be used, for example, for one-to-one tuition.
Every school has a requirement to show how they’re using the funding. And as a parent of an adopted child, the school should be informing you of how the funding is being used to benefit your child. With our eldest, we get a letter each September to explain what the funding is being used for.
Our school allocates it to milk, school trips, and after-school clubs for infants and school trips and after-school clubs for juniors. So far, we haven’t had to ask for it to be used for anything else. But I suspect that will change this academic year in respect of our eldest daughter.
If you have any issues with the way your child’s school allocates the funding, the Virtual School can step in to help.
Pupil Premium is something that a lot of adoptive parents don’t know about, or fully understand. I’m one of those parents. If you’d like to know more about it and how it can be allocated, Emma Spillane has created a brilliant free download which you can find out about here. Emma supports vulnerable children and their families in education, through training and support.
Click here if you’d like to read more parenting articles.