Pupil Premium Grant & Free School Meals
You may be aware that the government is currently allocating additional funding to schools in the form of ‘The Pupil Premium Grant’. One of the criteria used to calculate this additional funding is the number of pupils at a school who receive Free School Meals (FSMs). In common with most schools it is possible that a number of parents/carers whose children attend Hampton Hargate Primary School fail to claim even though they are entitled to do so. To enable our school to receive the full funding available we continue to remind parents to check if they meet the criteria. This funding will then be used to support their child in school.
A child may be eligible to receive the Pupil Premium Grant/Free School Meals if the parent receives any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit
Children who get any of the above benefits in their own right (ie they get benefits payments directly, instead of through a parent or guardian) can also get the Pupil Premium Grant/Free School Meals.
Children under the compulsory school age who are in full time education may also be able to get Pupil Premium Grant/Free School Meals.
Pupil Premium Grant: is a grant provided to enhance educational opportunity for children in families of low income. The grant includes the provision of free school meals
Free School Meals: this is one aspect of support available to families of low income. Free School Meals is part of the Pupil Premium Grant
How to apply for Pupil Premium Grant/Free School Meals
If you think that your income is low and you receive any of the benefits listed above then download the application form from our school website or collect from our school office to apply for the Pupil Premium/Free School Meals.
If your child is in Reception or Years 1 or 2 and is already receiving the free school meal, you still need to apply to enable the school to receive the Pupil Premium Funding for your child. If your child is in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) you will need to apply to receive the Pupil Premium Grant which will then enable your child to receive a free school meal each day in addition to the funding the school receives.
Background to the Grant
The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011. Since 2012 schools have been allocated this funding directly to their main school budget. This premium provides funding specifically for children from low income families. The purpose of the funding is to raise achievement and improve outcomes for eligible children.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Pupil Premium Grant
What is the Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium is additional funding paid to schools in respect of their disadvantaged pupils (pupils who have been registered for free schools meals (FSM) at any point in the last six years or are looked after continuously by the local authority for more than six months). Schools receive this funding to support their eligible pupils and narrow the attainment gap between them and their peers.
Is FSM an inaccurate measure?
FSM is the only pupil level measure of deprivation available. The link between FSM eligibility and underachievement is very strong and data on FSM is easily collected and updated annually.
Is it too late to narrow attainment gaps once children start school?
Evidence is clear that schools have a direct impact on children’s attainment as well as influencing the home environment. Life chances are not fixed at age five and schools are independently important for improving children's attainment and narrowing gaps. Evidence shows that the most effective schools achieve this through a combination of high quality teaching, strong leadership, a relevant and coherent curriculum, a culture of high expectations and targeted catch-up and enrichment activities. Intensive support in the basics (via one-‐to-‐one tuition or as a group) can enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds to catch up with their peers. Schools also influence how parents support their child’s learning and behaviour as they grow older and their needs develop. They can also help parents understand the breadth of possibilities open to their child and how their child can achieve their aspirations.
Will the Pupil Premium really narrow attainment gaps?
It is not the funding itself that will improve attainment gaps, but how schools use it. Some children require additional support to meet their potential, and the Pupil Premium will provide schools with the resources they need to provide that support. Where funding is carefully targeted, UK studies do show an impact on attainment gaps for disadvantaged pupils - particularly in English and mathematics. Our school has demonstrated that with effective, appropriate and early intervention, the gap can be closed.
How are schools accountable for how they use the Pupil Premium?
Head teachers are free to decide how best to use the Pupil Premium Grant to support their Ever6/FSM and Looked After pupils and close the attainment gap between them and their peers. The Department for Education does not want to micro-manage schools, but it does expect them to use the Pupil Premium Grant appropriately and to be accountable for the decisions they make.
What if parents do not want their child to eat the free meals?
The Government is committed to providing nutritious school meals to all Reception and KS1 pupils including free meals for the most disadvantaged children. However, although taking up the meal is recommended, it is optional. Parents are encouraged to register their child as eligible for FSM, regardless of whether they want their child to have the free school meal. This is done confidentially and parents should understand that this will bring extra funding to the school to help support their child.
If you have any further queries about eligibility or requests for funding please contact the school office or your child’s class teacher who will be happy to help.