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Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011. In 2012–13 schools were allocated a total of £1.25 billion funding for children from low-income families who were eligible for free school meals, looked after children and those from families with parents in the Armed Forces

From April 2012 the Pupil Premium was extended to include children who had been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years (FSM 'Ever 6').

Funding Levels

The Government has confirmed its intention to raise the premium from £1300 to £1320 for primary FSM 'Ever 6' for 2015-16. Secondary schools will continue to receive £935 for secondary FSM 'Ever 6' pupils for 2015-16.

Children who are looked after attract a higher rate of funding than children from low-income families - the ‘pupil premium plus’, which is currently £1,900 per pupil and will remain at this rate for 2015-16. This is to reflect the unique challenges they face at school where they often struggle to keep up with their peers at both primary and secondary level.

Children who have parents in the armed forces are supported through the service child premium which for 2014-15 is £300 per pupil.

In October 2014 it was announced that schools, nurseries and childminders are to receive £300 for every 3- and 4-year-old from a low-income family under the new early years pupil premium, so these children start school on an equal footing to their peers.

Pupil Premium Funding

For an overview of the Pupil Premium read our feature article 'Pupil premium: the facts' on the Herts for learning website at:


Early Years Pupil Premium

From April 2015, schools, pre-schools, nurseries, and childminders will be able to claim extra funding through the early years pupil premium (EYPP) to support children’s development and learning. The early years pupil premium can provide an extra £302 a year for three and four year old children who have been in care or adopted from care or whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits.

Have you applied for the early years pupil premium for children in your nursery class?

Since April 2015 schools from all over Hertfordshire have applied for the early years pupil premium for their eligible children.

For schools that have not already accessed the early years pupil premium, you are missing out on vital additional funding to support children in your nursery class.

To claim this funding there is a straight forward process which involves you collecting information from parents and checking families’ eligibility. The eligibility check is quick and gives an immediate result once the parent’s information is submitted.

Enhancements to the administrative process this academic year include:

  • You will be able to edit all parts of the application, e.g. child information and parent information if entered in error
  • You will be able to re-run the eligibility check on a one by one basis, e.g. if you are informed that parent’s circumstances have changed
  • You will be able to remove a record where a child has left the school or did not attend.

The national criteria for the early years pupil premium instructs that all children who are in receipt of early years pupil premium must be re checked in each new academic year. Consequently we will be re-checking eligibility on all children in September 2016. Please ensure that you re input all children on to the application checking service even if they have already been eligible for the early years pupil premium in a previous term so their eligibility can be maintained.

For information on the process to claim, leaflets and information to give to parents to explain EYPP see below.

There are also best practice guides to review and consider when delivering EYPP activities. Please visit

For more information and best practice examples.

New applications can be submitted from now and the last date for submitting applications will be Friday 10 February 2017 for payment to be made in March 2017.


Effective Pupil Premium Reviews - Teaching Schools Council (Nov 2014)

This guide has been developed by the Teaching Schools Council working with Sir John Dunford, National Pupil Premium Champion. It has been developed for system leaders and school leaders and provides a rigorous and tested framework which reviewers and supported schools can use to make the most of a pupil premium review. The guide sets out a simple, six-step process for a review, including self-evaluation by the supported school and the creation of an action plan for the school by the reviewer. There are also case studies from a reviewer and three schools that have previously commissioned reviews.

Use the NCTL system leader reviews directory to find someone in your area who can conduct your pupil premium review

This links to a list of  NLEs and LLEs in the Hertfordshire area, specialising in PP reviews:

  • Aycliffe Drive Primary Sch
  • St Albans Girls' Schoolool
  • Sir John Lawes School
  • The Hertfordshire & Essex High School and Science College


DfE: Closing the gap with the new primary national curriculum (Sep 2014)

This project investigated how the best schools continue to close the gap as they implement the new primary national curriculum



Pupil Premium Plus for Children Looked After

Information for Hertfordshire schools on the policy adopted for Pupil Premium Plus can be found at:


Ofsted July 2014: The Pupil Premium: an Update

This report provides an update on the progress schools have made in using their pupil premium funding to raise achievement for pupils eligible for free school meals. It is based on evidence from 151 inspections carried out between January and December 2013, text review of 1,600 school inspection reports published between September 2013 and March 2014, and national performance data for 2013.


FFT: Pupil Premium and the Invisible Group? July 2014

This paper examines difference within the FSM6 group in England and also considers pupils who have been FSM at some point in the past but not in the last 6 years. The outcomes are relevant to both England and Wales in that they identify variations which both schools, policy makers and inspectors should take into account when evaluating the impact of initiatives to ‘close the gap’.


Evaluation of Pupil Premium - Update - July 2013

The 'Evaluation of Pupil Premium' report, commissioned by the Department for Education, presents the findings of an independent evaluation of the Pupil Premium which shows 4 out of 5 secondary schools and more than two-thirds of primary schools introduced or enhanced support for disadvantaged pupils as a direct result of the pupil premium.

  • 80% of secondary schools and 67% of primary schools have introduced new support and/or enhanced their existing support for disadvantaged pupils as a direct result of the pupil premium
  • 75% of schools thought using additional staff to support disadvantaged pupils was very effective
  • two-thirds of schools thought they would not be able to do as much for their disadvantaged pupils without the pupil premium
  • 70% of schools already use evidence from other schools and 45% use academic research to help them make decisions on how to spend their pupil premium funding

However, the research shows that some schools are prioritising interventions that evidence suggests are not consistently cost-effective or good value, such as the recruitment of additional staff. Some are also not using or aware of robust evidence of what works.

Building on the findings of the independent evaluation, the Department for Education is working with Ofsted to further its work in tackling the unacceptable gaps in attainment disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

From September 2013, Ofsted will introduce a sharper focus to the performance and progress of pupil premium pupils in their inspections. It is unlikely that a school will be judged ‘outstanding’ if its disadvantaged pupils are not making good progress.

Schools that are judged not to be using their pupil premium effectively will be expected to commission an external pupil premium review, led by a system-leader, in order to improve provision for their disadvantaged pupils. More information at:

Evaluation of Pupil Premium - July 2013

Research report looking at how schools spent pupil premium funds and what they plan to do with funding in future years.


Increasing Registration for Free School Meals

The DFE has provided an example letter to parents, based on good practice examples from schools. The letter can be personalised and sent out to parents to encourage registration.

It also gives some good practice examples of activities schools are undertaking to increase Free School Meals (FSM) registration:

Free school meals matter toolkit:



Reporting on-line how Pupil Premium money has been spent and the impact it has had on pupil progress and attainment

Schools are required from September 2012 to make a report on-line as to how they have used the Pupil Premium and the impact it has had on pupil attainment and progress. Whilst the DfE is clear that this information must be published on-line there is no specific advice about how schools should report on the use and impact of Pupil Premium.

Schools might want to consider the approach set out below for reporting how Pupil Premium funding has been spent. The suggested approach reports in three key areas: context, provision and impact.

Performance tables

New measures are included in the performance tables that  capture the achievement of those deprived pupils covered by the Pupil Premium.


OFSTED and Pupil Premium 2012

Ofsted ( School Inspection handbook September 2012) refers explicitly to pupils for whom the  pupil premium supports  as one of the groups who may be at risk of underachievement. During inspections  particular attention will be given to how schools are using pupil premium.

In September 2012 OfSTED published the results of a survey it carried out to identify how schools were using this money to raise achievement and improve outcomes for these pupils.

Recommendations from the survey included:
  • School leaders, including governing bodies, should ensure that Pupil Premium funding is not simply absorbed into mainstream budgets, but instead is carefully targeted at the designated children. They should be able to identify clearly how the money is being spent.
  • School leaders, including governing bodies, should evaluate their Pupil Premium spending, avoid spending it on activities that have little impact on achievement for their disadvantaged pupils, and spend it in ways known to be most effective.
  • Schools should continue to seek ways to encourage parents and carers to apply for free school meals where pride, stigma or changing circumstances act as barriers to its take-up.
  • Local authorities should ensure that there is greater consistency and transparency in the way in which the Pupil Premium is allocated to non-mainstream schools.
  • Ofsted should continue to evaluate the use of Pupil Premium funding by schools to ensure that they are focusing it on disadvantaged pupils and using it effectively.
  • If schools do not target Pupil Premium money effectively, then government should consider ring fencing, payment linked to outcomes, or other mechanisms to improve its use.
Ofsted 11 Feb 2013: New survey report into the Pupil Premium

Survey shows more schools using the Pupil Premium to good effect but others still struggling to make a real difference. It includes some of the effective practice that inspectors have observed.

Ofsted 11 Feb 2013: The Pupil Premium - analysis and challenge tools for schools

A series of tools to help schools analyse where there are gaps in achievement between pupils who are eligible for the Pupil Premium and those who are not, and to plan the action they need to take.


Self Evaluation

Self Evaluation and factors to consider when raising the attainment of pupils who are supported by the Pupil premium.

The documents below can be used to support auditing current practice and setting priorities for future improvement.

The Dfe has brought  together some of the key learning points and effective practices from schools which have used provision mapping to identify and overcome potential barriers to learning, and meet the needs of all pupils within and beyond the school setting.


What Works?

Sutton Trust Toolkit

The Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit is an independent resource which provides guidance for teachers and schools on how to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.

Updates made to the SuttonToolkit in January 2013 include:

  • The addition of eight new topics: Aspiration interventions, Behaviour interventions, Collaborative learning, Extended school time, Mentoring, Physical environment, Social and emotional aspects of learning, Small group tuition.
  • A full update on all existing topics to incorporate the publication of new research.


Designated Teacher Training Conference 2012

The fourth annual training conference for designated teacher's of Children Looked After took place on 17th October 2012. One of the presentations was: