Best Practice Pupil Premium Management
The pupil premium (PP) is paid to schools with the purpose of ‘diminishing the difference’ between certain disadvantaged pupil groups and their peers. Official figures for 2016/17 show that over 3,200 schools across England received £200,000 or more PP provision – making it one of the largest funding streams available for many schools.
The money is for pupils who are in receipt of free school meals, now or at any time in the past six years, or who are in care, or have been, for one day or more. It is important to note that governing boards, not executive leaders or SBMs, are accountable for spending the PP.
Spending the PP right
With shrinking budgets and increased financial pressure on schools it may be tempting to interpret the use of the PP money rather liberally; for instance, some schools have spent the money to hire additional support staff or supplement the wage budget.
However, schools have a moral and ethical responsibility to target the funding towards eligible pupils. In addition, there are consequences for not justifying how the money is spent; Ofsted can compel schools’ to undertake an external review of PP spending and, in addition, weak PP management is likely to contribute to a poor Ofsted rating.
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