At Totnes St John's Primary School we have high aspirations and ambitions for all of our children and we believe that no child should be left behind. We are determined to ensure that all of our children are given every chance to realise their full potential. The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
Pupil Premium is allocated to pupils in school year groups from Reception to Year 11 from low income families who are registered for free school meals (FSM) or who have been registered for FSM at any point in the last six years (known as ‘Ever 6’), together with children that have been in care continuously for 6 months or more.
It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility. However, all schools will be held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support pupils from low income families. Schools are required to publish a Pupil Premium Strategy (see below). This will ensure that parents are fully informed about the amount of allocation, barriers faced by eligible pupils, how the funding is to be spent, how impact will be measured and the date the strategy will be reviewed. We also need to include how the allocation was spent for the previous year and its impact on eligible and other pupils. Our key objective in using the Pupil Premium Grant is to diminish the differences between all pupil groups within Totnes St John's Primary School. We closely monitor how we are spending the allocated funds to ensure they are having an impact on pupil premium pupil’s achievement.
All children in receipt of these funds are also entitled (though do not have to take) free school dinners.
The Department of Education website is a good source of additional information:
Making an application for free school meals
The school will only receive this funding if the parents of eligible pupils make an application, so if you are in receipt of any of the benefits listed below, we would encourage you to apply. For each successful application, the school will receive an extra £1320 per pupil per year to support learning.
Children whose parents are getting any of the following are entitled to free school meals.This applies to all pupils regardless of which year they are in:
- Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, that does not exceed £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on (the payment you get for a further 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
Children who receive a qualifying benefit in their own right can also get free school meals.
Please note that from 1 April 2018, all children currently getting free school meals will continue to do so while Universal Credit is rolled out. This will apply even if their parents’ earnings rise above the new threshold during that time. In addition, any child who becomes eligible for free school meals after 1 April 2018 will be protected against losing these during the Universal Credit rollout period.
Once Universal Credit is fully rolled out, any existing claimants that no longer meet the eligibility criteria at that point (because their earnings are above the threshold or are no longer a recipient of Universal Credit) will continue to receive free school meals until the end of their current phase of education (such as primary or secondary).
The Universal Credit rollout is currently expected to complete in March 2022.
The quickest and easiest way to apply for free school meals is through the Devon County Council Citizen Portal at Citizen Portal
The person making the application should be the person who holds parental responsibility for the child that they are applying for.
This will result in an instant decision direct to your phone, tablet or computer. A print out of the result or screen shot confirming eligibility should be shown to the School Office allowing free meals to commence straight away.
Parents and carers can also ring the Education Helpline on 0345 155 1019 to request a paper copy of the application form.
Service Pupil Premium
Some pupils may attract the Service Pupil Premium. This is for pupils who have a parent serving in the armed services. Unlike the Pupil Premium, this grant is mainly for providing additional pastoral support. Pupils with a parent currently serving in the armed services and supporting their family, pupils who have a parent who died in action and those whose parents have left the service since April 2011 for other reasons, including injury are all eligible. To be eligible, the parent must be supporting their family, so where they are separated or divorced, a pupil will not be eligible.