Pupil Premium Plus

Published October 10, 2013 by thefamilyof5

The government announced recently the introduction of the new ‘Pupil Premium Plus’.

Children in care have previously attracted pupil premium funding at the same rate as children from low-income families, but in future they will attract a higher rate of funding – the pupil premium plus. From April next year, children in care will attract £1,900 additional funding per pupil, more than double the £900 awarded in 2013 to 2014.

In addition, this support will now reach more children. At the moment, children in care attract the pupil premium if they have been looked after for 6 months or more, but in future they will be funded from their first day in care.

For the first time, children adopted from care and those who leave care under a special guardianship order or residence order will also attract the pupil premium plus.

So, great news, the needs of Looked After Children and Adopted Children have finally been recognised by the Department of Education. From April 2014 both Looked After Children, and Adopted Children will attract a higher rate of the Pupil Premium called the Pupil Premium Plus.

This has caused much excitement in the world of Adoption, our children’s higher level of need in school can no longer be denied. Our children will receive additional funding for support in school to help them reach their full potential.

Edward Timpson said:

“It’s vital that these vulnerable children are given the targeted support they need and the education they deserve to help them get on in life.”

Exciting stuff! However, as well as excitement there is also a little unrest in the world of adoption, a few “hmmmm’s” and a few “yeah right’s” and a few “we’ll see’s”. Adopters have fought with schools and teachers for years to have their children’s needs acknowledged, never mind supported. Adopters have been made to feel like neurotic overprotective parents, had their children’s needs denied and some adoptive parents have even been made to feel at fault for their children’s difficulties. So its hardly surprising they’re feeling a little skeptical.

School head teachers have been left with the responsibility of deciding how the existing Pupil Premium is spent to best close the attainment gaps between the disadvantaged children eligible for the Pupil Premium and those not.

Here are some examples that I’ve taken from school websites across the country of how schools have been spending the existing Pupil Premium:

Supplement of Education visits and Visitors for Pupil Premium children

Contribution for Junior Librarian scheme to revamp the library and encourage home reading.

Year 6 children will receive extra Maths support through an additional teacher employed to run interventions and work with small groups.

Each child entitled to FSM in Year 5 and 6 offered a free Fit-For-Sport breakfast club place

New allotment club.

School trips subsidy for target pupils.

Employ a learning mentor to ensure targeted vulnerable pupils are in school on time and ready to learn.

Extra teaching time one afternoon per week to teach groups of pupils across the whole school.

School trips, extracurricular activities books to promote reading and to fund other opportunities to boost learning.

Will FREE school trips help   our children feel safe?

Will FREE school trips help our children feel safe?

So how will the Pupil Premium Plus be spent, how will our children’s greater level of need be met with this new higher rate of funding. Will free/subsidised school trips help our children? or how about free access to breakfast clubs? or a learning mentor to encourage families to get their children in to school on time?
I cant deny additional staff to enable smaller class sizes would be of benefit, and specific types of after school clubs to help boost self esteem and learn new talents would also be of benefit. But adopters are worried that not enough will be done to target this money towards our children’s specific needs. Will the money be put in to a huge pot to provide support that really isn’t relevant?

General Fund

General Fund

“Through the Children and Families Bill, the government is also making it mandatory for every council to have a ‘virtual school head’ – an individual who champions the education of children in care and acts as their overarching head.

Today’s announcement includes plans to extend the role of the virtual school head to work with schools to manage the pupil premium plus and ensure that the money is spent on securing the best educational support and services for children in care. For example, this could include specialist tuition for musically gifted children or one-to-one catch-up sessions.”

So, the virtual school head will undertake the responsibility of making sure the ‘Pupil Premium Plus’ is targeted appropriately.

Will a bowl of cereal help them over come trauma?

Will a bowl of cereal help them over come trauma?

We adopters still wonder, will our children be offered free school trips and breakfasts when really what they need is emotional support, attachment focused teaching and understanding? Time will tell, watch this space…………….

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9 comments on “Pupil Premium Plus

  • We had an interesting thread on this issue on Mumsnet, we were concerned about what the money would be used for, and had insight from an advisory teacher for looked after children, who said (quote):

    [the money is] “not ringfenced, but schools do need to prove to OFSTED and to Virtual Heads that they have used the money to improve individual students’ academic attainment”

    “certainly, during inspections, OFSTED inspectors are selecting the names of looked after children and asking for a breakdown of how their PP money has been used to improve their achievement. Saying that it has been swallowed up for generic ‘support’ or literacy classes where the child has no literacy need is simply not good enough, and it seems that OFSTED are being quite hot on this”

    “Thankfully, many schools seem to be getting used to this, and are no longer allowing the money to disappear into the ‘pot’. Unfortunately, many more have yet to realise that they will be held to account”

    (endquote)

    Very interesting that OFSTED are now demanding accountability, hopefully this will generate change

  • Hi again,

    I work across a number of schools and I’m doing a project around vulnerable children and how to support them….attachment is at the core of this and I’m hoping that the schools will start to really appreciate how this impacts on a child’s experience of school….everyone associated PP with poverty and FSMs….so the new guidance is helpful as schools will need to actually think about how to support these children. (I am working with 2 families with residence orders where the children are really struggling in school and the grandparents are on living on their nerves – CAMHS involved, but it’s not nearly enough and the schools are panicked and unable to really cope with the two girls’ disruptive behaviour) I’ll keep you posted and maybe if you are happy to help, run some ideas past you?

    cheers

    Maeve

  • As a school governor, social worker and adopter I am encouraged by the introduction of the Pupil Premium Plus and sincerely hope that it can be used to promote the wellbeing and education of adopted children.
    Like highlighted I too have questions, my experience tells me that for children who are looked after schools can struggle to find appropriate uses that meet the needs of specific children and this is tempered by an increased scrutiny by virtual heads and social workers. But for adopted children I’m guessing that it is going to fall again to adoptive parents to first highlight their children’s eligibility then promote the appropriate use of the money. As most adoptive parents will testify too school responses can range from sympathetic, helpful and constructive to dismissive, unhelpful and patronising. With most school budgets running into the millions of pounds the PPP could be lost in the midst of budgets.
    I guess we all welcome any additional help but for adoptive parents who aren’t confident and vocal my suspicion is that the PPP will either go un accessed or misappropriated to meet the needs of a wider group of children.

    Nice blog by the way.

  • Not all children living with kinship carers or adopted children were previously looked after by local orthorities. Many children are rescued prior to the need for care orders. Will they all miss out on the new pupil premium like the resuers miss all Government help?

    • I really dont know im sorry. If you have a local authority involved with the child in question perhaps they could shed some light, alternatively the virtual head at your local authority may have some answers for you.
      Hope you get some advice 🙂

  • Reblogged this on AdoptedTwo and commented:
    We have had a very negative experience of PP+ and our children have not benefitted at all especially as a huge chunk of PP subsidised a trip for just 17 children. Our VSH doesn’t monitor money of adopted children, yet. We keep our fingers crossed things improve.

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