The aim of the Government’s Pupil Premium is to raise achievement among disadvantaged children. It will provide additional funding for disadvantaged pupils to ensure they benefit from the same opportunities as pupils from wealthier families.
The pupil premium has a number of wider aims:
- To increase social mobility
- To enable more pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to get to the top universities;
- To reduce the attainment gap between the highest and lowest achieving pupils nationally.
The pupil premium is allocated to children from low-income families who are currently known to be eligible for Free School Meals in both mainstream and non-mainstream settings and children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months. Children from service families are also funded.
Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However they are accountable for how they have used the funding to support pupils from low-income families. From September 2012, schools are required to publish online information about how they have used the Pupil premium. This will ensure that parents and others are made fully aware of the attainment of pupils covered by the Premium.
In his paper on the Pupil Premium, “Tackling Disadvantage” in February 2012, Norman Lamb MP, noted that the funding was able to be spent on any “disadvantaged pupils” although the funding mechanism was via Free School Meals. He was particularly positive of schools who were able to use this funding in three main ways
- To provide further training and teaching (assistant) time
- To provide resources for pupils who otherwise could not afford them
- To assist with trips and other “extras.”
It is difficult to measure the impact of all these interventions but they have a positive effect on the lives of those receiving this help.
Click here to view more information on Cecil Gowing’s Pupil Premium.