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Pupil Premium Plus Guidance

Pupil Premium Plus

The Cared for Children Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) is managed by the Virtual School Head in the Local Authority that looks after the child. The Virtual School Head works with schools to ensure that PP+ money is spent to the educational benefit of the eligible child and address their individual needs as identified in the PEP.

The Pupil Premium: Conditions of Grant 2022-23 and Pupil Premium Policy Paper Pupil premium: overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) set out allocation arrangements for the Pupil Premium Plus (PP+) money for Looked After Children.

 

What is Pupil Premium Plus? (PP+)

PP+ is a grant awarded to schools to help them to provide additional support and interventions to enable a Cared for Child to make progress by overcoming barriers that might prevent them from making good academic progress. This grant can't be treated as a personal budget for each child, but it can be ‘pooled’ to provide a service that will help all Cared for Children in a school (e.g. training staff to understand how to help Cared for Children or employing tutors (or additional staff) to teach specific skills, such as literacy, to a cohort of Cared For Children. However it is spent, the school must choose evidence based interventions and itemise on the termly PEP how the PP+ has benefitted the child, with detailed costings.  Allocation of the funding will be linked to clear Personal Education Plan SMART targets. 

Most of the PP+ is devolved to schools on a termly basis, following receipt of a detailed and fully completed PEP document. During the financial year 2022-23, the amount for each child will be £1600, divided into three terms. For Early Years settings, the amount is £300 per year. Independent special schools and Post 16 providers will receive PP+ at the discretion of the Virtual Headteacher.  A percentage of the grant is retained by the Virtual Head teacher to commission extra services to support the whole cohort, most especially those children who have complex needs but do not have an EHCP, and yet need support to remain in education.  

The Pupil Premium Plus and Early Years Pupil Premium funding will be allocated according to the following principles: 

  • Children and young people will be eligible from the first day of the care episode.
  • The Local Authority that looks after the child is responsible for distributing the Pupil Premium Plus payments to schools, settings, and academies.
  • The Virtual School Head is responsible for making sure that there are effective arrangements in place for allocating Pupil Premium Plus and Early Years Pupil Premium funding to benefit children in care to their Authority. 
  • The PEP must be monitored and reviewed closely by the Designated Teacher, the Social Worker and Independent Reviewing Officer for effectiveness.
  • The PEP must be reviewed on a termly basis by the Designated Teacher, and the child’s targets, and any other relevant information, conveyed to their teachers.
  • All PEPs will be monitored for SMART targets that have a positive impact on the improvement of educational outcomes. 
  • Only PEPs that are fully completed, with SMART targets that have been reviewed and evaluated, will trigger payment of Pupil Premium Plus.

 As a result of the above, the allocation of Pupil Premium Plus is a model driven by a child’s needs, managed through high quality PEPs. PEPs will be monitored closely by Designated Teachers, the Virtual School, Social Workers, and Independent Reviewing Officers. 

The Virtual School Head is responsible for the allocation of the Pupil Premium to schools and settings. Schools remain accountable for the educational attainment and progress of all disadvantaged pupils in their setting. 

Schools should ensure that the funding is used to close the gap between the outcomes for Cared for Children and all other children within the school, as well as all children nationally.  Pupil Premium Plus allocation must be spent in line with the Terms and Conditions of Grant as dictated by the DfE. 

Circumstances in which Pupil Premium Plus will not be agreed 

Pupil Premium Plus cannot be used to ‘double fund’ or replace funding which should have or has already been allocated to the school to support the child. Specifically, it cannot be used to: 

  • Fund services that should be provided via an EHC plan.
  • Fund SEN needs where the child is on School Support and the school’s SEN budget should be used to meet these needs.
  • Provide other statutory work e.g. statutory assessment or support from health.
  • Provide support which is provided for in other contracts. As such, it will not be paid to independent settings where this support is expected as a condition of contract.
  • Any expenditure which is not linked clearly to one of the PEP targets. 

Pupil Premium Plus will not be paid if:  

  • The interventions put in place do not require any funding.
  • The school’s own funding covers the cost of the interventions.
  • The PEP for that term hasn’t been completed.
  • The PEP is deemed not to be of high quality, with SMART targets, through the Virtual School Quality Assurance process. 
  • The school is not sharing the relevant attainment, progress and attendance data.

 

Funding should not be used to replace: 

  • Resources that a Local Authority provides for through its allowance to foster carers or children’s home fees. Carers have an allocation for clothing, uniform and out of school activities within reason. 
  • Trips and visits organised by the school as part of the curriculum. If these are part of the curriculum or specifically related to exam coursework, schools can only request a donation. It is expected that Social Care or the carer should provide resources for these activities. 
  • Basic equipment that the child or young person needs to participate in lessons or for school uniform, school lunches or equipment for physical education lessons. 
  • Alternative education for Cared for Children subject to fixed term or permanent exclusion.
  • Before or after school childcare clubs. 
  • Funding covered by foster carers (as part of their own contractual funding agreement) such as out of school hours activities such as sports clubs, theatre trips, etc.

Funding for electronic equipment will not be automatically granted. 

There is an expectation that evidence of how this funding is being used to improve the educational outcomes of cared for children is produced termly at the Personal Education Plan meetings or review.  If the school is unable to evidence how the funding is being used to support the child to progress in line with their peers, Pupil Premium Plus may be withheld by the Virtual School. 

 

Use of PP+ for Extra-curricular activities  

PP+ can be used to support in school extracurricular activities if these can contribute to the outcomes above.  For example, this could be used to fund music tuition for a student if this contributes towards ‘Wider achievement e.g., in an area in which the child is gifted and talented’. 

The funding cannot be used to fund an activity which does not contribute towards these outcomes.  For example, it may not be appropriate to fund a Ski Trip which takes place in school holidays and could be supported by the carer. 

 

Ofsted findings  

The following comments relate to both PP and PP+ and is therefore related to a wider cohort. Nevertheless, it gives a view of good practice. 

 What does not work in terms of effective interventions?  

  • Spending the funding indiscriminately on teaching assistants with little impact and not managing their performance well 
  • Spending the funding on one-to-one tuition and booster classes – that are unmonitored…and do not relate to class teaching…and are not audited or quality assured 
  • Planning spending in isolation – not part of the school action plan 
  • Assuming that pupils eligible for the PP+ will have learning difficulties 
  • Comparing the performance of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium with other eligible pupils nationally, rather than all pupils – lowering expectations. 

 

What does work?  

  • Targeted tuition to include measuring impact (start and end of intervention). 
  • Homework support.
  • TA appointment and targeted input for specific areas.
  • Resources (e.g. revision guides, text books, equipment for particular lessons such as DT, Art, college / off site courses, sensory equipment, etc.).
  • Group work intervention, with LAC as focus child (for both learning and pastoral areas).
  • Online access to learning resources which require funding. 
  • Access to extra-curricular activities which will support or impact behaviour and in turn learning (e.g. Drama clubs). 
  • Behaviour interventions. 
  • Opportunity to extend school time, in order to access learning. 
  • Staff training to enhance understanding of LAC related difficulties (for example attachment). 

 

Examples of effective use of PP+ 

This is not an exhaustive list, all PP+ expenditure must be specific to the needs of the child and linked to aspirational targets to engage and raise attainment.  

 

  • Focused and finite additional 1:1 or small group intervention. This should be focused on areas of weakness or gaps in learning. This intervention should have clear outcomes and its impact evaluated.
  • Covering part of the cost of an Educational Psychologist report
  • Rewards for achieving goals in behaviour for learning.
  • 1:1 intervention to re-engage a disaffected learner.
  • Short term 1:1 tutoring for a child on a temporary modified timetable.
  • Extending school time e.g., afterschool support with homework.
  • Specialist software or equipment beyond that normally provided by the school e.g. a graphics tablet, speech recognition software. A typing tutor programme.
  • Fees for national awards such as DofE.
  • Staff training to enhance understanding of LAC related difficulties e.g. attachment disorder.

 

What shouldn’t the PP+ be used for? 

 Items which the foster carer is expected to provide such as: 

  • Items of school uniform including sports kit.
  • Standard textbooks or equipment (e.g. calculator).
  • School trips which are an essential part of the core curriculum.
  • Playgroup or nursery fees.
  • The cost of school lunches or packed lunch.
  • School photographs.
  • Day trips.
  • Transport to and from school or bus pass.
  • Musical instrument.
  • Private music, dance, drama, or sports lessons.

Under some circumstances, additional funding for some of the items above may be available through the placement social worker. 

Funding to carers may vary between Sefton and private fostering agencies. In some cases, funds are available through the fostering agency, for further information please speak to your allocated Social Worker. All other school trips abroad will not normally be funded as these would fall within the normal expectation of activities funded by the carer 

All school field trips required for GCSE courses should be funded by the school. 

 Year 11 and transition to post 16 provisions  

Pupil Premium Plus will not be paid to schools for any Year 11 student in the final (summer) term of Year 11. This funding will be pooled and used to support transition to post 16 provisions. This transition might include:  

  • Virtual School team support to make the transition to post 16 
  • Additional one to one tuition for any English or Maths retake exams 
  • Education package to support next steps in education (Post 16) E.G Functional skills 

Pupil Premium Plus for Children Previously in Care  

In addition, and through a separate process, children who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangement order or a residence order will have their entitlement to Pupil Premium Plus paid directly to the school. The school will need to work with the adoptive parents to ensure the status of the young person is recorded on the census return, the Pupil Premium Plus funding will then be received through the normal school funding routes.  

 There is no direct responsibility for the Virtual School Head to monitor the use of this Pupil Premium Plus and there is no expectation of a PEP. However, support and advice for previously looked after young people is available and schools should contact the Virtual School Education Adviser PLAC or the Virtual School Head if this is required.


Last Updated on Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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