If you have a child at school you may be able to get financial help with school meals, clothing, milk and travel to and from school.
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The Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) is additional funding received by schools for each pupil from disadvantaged families or background. It is allocated to schools based on the number of children who come from low-income families – this is defined as those who are currently known to be eligible for free school meals (FSM). This is one of the current government’s key education policies. It is based on findings that show that, as a group, children who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in time have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible.
It is important to know that a pupil does not need to have the free school meal, but the parents / carers should still check to see if they are entitled and then make a claim in order for the school to receive the PPG (see below on how to claim).
It also includes pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years; children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months; and children where a parent serves in the armed forces.
At around £1,300 per eligible pupil, this money is for schools to decide how to use in order to improve educational attainment of children from less privileged backgrounds. The pupil premium has the potential to have a great impact on the attainment, and future life chances, of pupils.
How we spend the Pupil Premium Grant
We use the PPG to provide additional educational support to improve the progress and to raise the standard of achievement for these pupils.
A large proportion of our PPG is spent on additional classroom support. Members of staff are aware of which children are eligible for the pupil premium and provide additional, frequent targeted support for these pupils. Teachers detail the learning objectives, the different support activities, the type of support required, who leads the support (either the teacher or the teaching assistant) and who benefits from the support.
Some children are supported in other ways, e.g. benefitting from adult support in smaller learning groups, and on a one-to-one basis.
We also use the PPG to try to address any inequalities of access to paid activities, e.g. educational visits, residential visits, music lessons and extra-curricular activities.
As our performance data has increased in recent years, so has the effectiveness of the support staff. Their role in class has become more targeted and more specific (for example, teaching assistants are required to work on specific learning objectives within clear time-frames) and, therefore, more effective. The role of teaching assistants was praised in the 2013 Ofsted report.
Evidence gathered from whole school-evaluation shows that the intervention and support strategies put into place have been successful. Overall they have had a positive impact on the progress, standards and achievement of pupils entitled to the strategies funded from the PPG.