If your child is eligible for free school meals, they may also be entitled to a sum of money paid to their school to boost their learning. Introduced in 2011, the pupil premium is a sum of money given to schools each year by the Government to improve the attainment of disadvantaged children. This is based on research showing that children from low income families perform less well at school than their peers. The pupil premium is intended to directly benefit the children who are eligible, helping to narrow the gap between them and their classmates.
Schools are given a pupil premium for:
– Children who have qualified for free school meals at any point in the past six years. The school receives £1300 for each of these children.
– Children who have been looked after under local authority care for more than one day. These children are awarded a premium of £1900.
Your child may be eligible for free school meals – and accordingly pupil premium – if you receive any of the following benefits:
- Income support;
- Income-based jobseekers’ allowance;
- Income-related employment and support allowance;
- Support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
- The guaranteed element of state pension credit;
- Child tax credit, provided that you are not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of £16,190 or less;
- Universal credit.
How do I apply?
From September 2014, all children in Reception and Years 1 and 2 qualified for free school meals, regardless of their family income, but only the children who would have qualified for free meals under the above income-based criteria will receive the pupil premium.
If your child qualifies for free school meals, it’s important that you tell us, even if they take a packed lunch, as this enables us to claim pupil premium which will be used to enhance your child’s education. You can check your eligibility and obtain claim forms from the school offices.
Early Years Pupil Premium
If your child is 3 or 4 years old we may be entitled to up to £300 per year of funding to support their development, learning and care. The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) provides an extra 53p per hour for 3 and 4 year old children whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits or children who have been in care or adopted from care. This allows us to help your child by providing extra equipment and resources e.g. additional training for staff on early language or more targeted play equipment to meet their needs or interests.
Your child will be eligible for the term after their 3rd birthday. If you think you may be eligible, it is important to let us know. You can check your eligibilty and obtain application forms by calling into the school office where they will be happy to help.