Background to the Funding:
In recent years the Government has changed the way in which schools receive funding for those pupils who come from low income families and are eligible for a free school meal. (This should not be confused with the new arrangements which came into place in September 2014 whereby all infant children have an automatic entitlement to a free school meal).
The funding is known as Pupil Premium and the amount that a school receives is based on the average number of children in receipt of a free school meal over the previous 6 years.
Schools have the final say as to how this money will be spent but they must be aware of Government guidance stating that such funds should be used ‘…to raise achievement and improve outcomes for these pupils ( from low income families).
It is the responsibility of the staff and governors to ensure that this funding is spent wisely. Free school meals can be a good indicator of low income families but there are other families with very tight financial circumstances who do not qualify for whatever reason. The correlation between free school meals and under achievement or Special Needs can be misleading. Some of our most able children fall into the free school meals and Pupil Premium category but their needs must be met as well.