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Pupil Premium Plus Funding

Pupil Premium Plus is held by the Virtual School to improve educational outcomes for children in care who are of statutory school age.

Information about Pupil Premium Plus Funding (PP+)

The Pupil Premium funding for LAC is to support children and young people in care, aged 5–16 (Reception to Year 11). The overall grant allocated to each LA is calculated on a per capita basis, however, it does not have to be distributed on a per capita basis, given that children and young people in care have differing levels of need at different stages of being in care.

The grant is managed by the Virtual School Head and used to improve outcomes and “narrow the gap” as identified in the Personal Education Plan [PEP] in consultation with the Designated Teacher, Social Worker, Carer and Virtual School caseworker

Children adopted from care and those on Special Guardianship Orders and Child Arrangement Orders from care are funded separately and this falls outside the remit of the Virtual School

 

Allocation of Pupil Premium for Children Looked After by Barnet Virtual School

Schools with a Barnet child in care on their roll (Reception to Year 11) will be able to request funding through the PEP process on a termly basis. The Virtual School will not approve requests for three term’s funding to be allocated ‘up front’ as pupil mobility and the inability to review the impact of provision can make this a less effective use of the funding.

 

PP+ is allocated on the basis of learning need as set out in the PEP. Requests are usually up to £600 but further funding may be agreed in exceptional cases. Schools can make applications for PP+ through the PEP which will be considered providing there is an effective, up to date PEP in place which:

  • Identifies the learning needs and progress of the child

  • Has a clear action plan to address the needs and promote progress with clear SMART targets which identify clearly the support needed, frequency etc.

  • Demonstrates how the Pupil Premium Plus allocated will be used to support the child’s learning, increasing engagement and improving rates of progress and academic outcomes as outlined in the child’s targets

  • Is clear and comprehensive, especially for readers who are not education specialists

 

Please note – Pupil Premium will not be paid to schools where there is no plan to use it or where the plan (PEP) is not deemed to meet required standards as determined by the Virtual School’s team.

Pupil Premium Plus funding MUST be used to improve outcomes in the following areas:

  • Acceleration of academic achievement and progress e.g. One-to-one tuition, use of metacognitive strategies

  • Wider achievement e.g. in an area in which the child is more able

  • Improving attendance

  • Inclusion [by reducing internal and external exclusion]

  • Supporting emotional well-being and improving mental health linked to education e.g. Therapeutic support e.g. play therapy, art therapy

  • Transition into the next key stage and/or a new learning provider e.g. extra support at beginning of the day

  • Developing social skills e.g. Circle of Friends

  • Enrichment opportunities e.g. learning an instrument

Pupil Premium Plus funding CANNOT be used to fund:

  • services that are typically available to all children e.g. the school’s curriculum offer, core staff provision, Education Psychology provision

  • if school’s own funding covers the cost of the interventions/resources i.e. Contributing to the salaries of substantive staff (as interventions should be time-limited)

  • services that should be provided via a EHC Plan or other statutory work e.g. statutory assessment or support from health

  • therapeutic interventions that do not have a direct and demonstrable link to improving academic outcomes

  • interventions put in place that do not require any funding

  • resources that the Local Authority provides for through its allowance to foster carers or children’s homes fees such as clothing, uniform, out of school activities and residential or trips abroad, within reason

  • before or after school childcare

  • extra-curricular clubs outside of school, unless it meets an identified social or emotional need  and will remove a barrier to learning identified in the PEP

Suggested uses

Schools are expected to select strategies that secure best value and impact, and they may draw best practice from a range of evidence-based sources such as the Sutton Trust Toolkit (https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/evidence-summaries/teaching-learning-toolkit/). 

 

The Virtual School welcomes school expertise in identifying the most appropriate strategies to support our children in care, and we encourage schools to make use of the Pupil Premium Plus to fund additional activities and interventions that are high impact and good value.

 

The Virtual School  retains some of the funding centrally to commission services or activities that will benefit Barnet Looked After Children holistically. In Barnet the Virtual School retains a proportion of the grant. It is spent on a variety of things including:

  • Monitoring of attendance and achievement

  • Provision of the ePEP

  • Transition support for children and young people moving to new schools in line with long-term care plans or foster placement changes.

  • Support for children in care not in education and in need of additional support to return to full time education.

  • Tuition, mentoring or wellbeing support

  • Training for designated teachers and other staff who work in schools, foster carers and social workers.

  • Additional equipment or resources that will support learning i.e. laptops.

  • Additional staff to support and champion pupils.

  • Additional enrichment opportunities

 

Variation of pupil premium expenditure

Children in Care will have different needs – some will need more support, some less at different times. It is up to those attending the PEP meeting to decide what actions are needed to help narrow the gap.

e.g. tuition or one to one specific intervention to diminish the difference in performance in preparation for statutory assessments or enhance social and emotional wellbeing, provision of play therapy, music lessons

 

What if the child has additional needs?

If the child has additional needs then designated teachers are asked to discuss this during the PEP meeting and record these in detail on the PEP form along with objectives and evaluation criteria. Requests for termly funding are usually in the region of £600. Granting of requests above this amount will require an exceptional case to be made in order to obtain additional funding approval.

 

Recoupment policy

We reserve the right to recoup the funding if there is evidence that the funding is not being used to address the LAC’s needs as set out in the PEP or if the child moves placement and has received more than £600 and is not able to receive the agreed support

 

Allocation of grant to independent schools and residential providers

Pupil Premium is unlikely to be paid to independent schools or residential providers because these are already funded at a high level by central budgets.

Payments may be made to meet individual needs in exceptional circumstances but only if it is in addition to that specified in the EHCP or placement contract. 

 

Pupil Premium for Adopted Children (Previously Looked After Children) and Children subject to Special Guardianship (SGO) or Child Arrangement Orders (CAO)

  • Post LAC pupil premium funding is only available for those children and young people who were in care in England or Wales immediately prior to the adoption/SG/CA order being granted. This must be declared on the school census and on this basis the funding will be released directly to the school.

  • Schools must declare and record those eligible adopted/SG/CAO children on the school census. The census collects information regarding children, who – on census day – have left local authority care in England and Wales through either adoption, a special guardianship order, a residence order or a child arrangement order. It is for those with parental responsibility (adoptive parents, special guardians and carers of former looked after children on residence / child arrangements orders) to decide if they wish to self-declare their children’s status to schools. Parents are to provide supporting evidence, for example, a photocopy of the adoption order, and confirm that their child was previously in care. Parents may conceal sensitive information (for example the name of the birth parents) should they wish.

  • Schools are reminded that this is particularly sensitive data and of the ongoing need for confidentiality. Schools should ensure that, as for other pupil level data items, they comply with their responsibilities with respect to the data protection act when processing this data.

 

Pupil Premium for Children and Young People from other Local Authorities

Different approaches will be adopted by different Local Authorities. Barnet schools who have Children and Young People in Care from other Local Authorities on their roll must contact the Head of the relevant Virtual School to request their Pupil Premium policy. Nationally, all head teachers of Virtual schools are responsible for the allocation of Pupil Premium for all school aged Children and Young People in care within their authorities, even though the child/young person is educated in a Barnet school. The name and contact details of other Virtual School Heads can be requested from the Barnet Virtual School team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 What is the Pupil Premium Plus?

The government provides additional funding to schools in the form of Pupil Premium in recognition that some groups of children, for example those entitled to Free School Meals, do less well at school. It is understood that looked-after children have additional needs and vulnerabilities and as a cohort achieve significantly less well, and so they attract an additional amount called the Pupil Premium Plus grant. The funding is to enable schools and early years providers to accelerate progress and to narrow the gap in attainment.

 

Q2. Do children have to access the full early education entitlement (15 hours a week) to be eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium?

No, from April 2015 providers have received an additional amount per hour for each eligible child. Children do not have to access the full entitlement in order to be eligible for the early years Pupil Premium Plus. Providers will receive an amount that is proportionate to the number of hours that a child is accessing.

 

Q3. The school wants to spend the money on educational strategies in school, is that acceptable?

Yes, the conditions of the grant state that it should be used for the educational benefit of the looked-after child and linked to their Personal Education Plan. 

 

Q5. Who can decide what the Pupil Premium Plus can be spent on?

Schools know their children and are the best people to identify their learning needs and the interventions which will accelerate progress. The Virtual School Head (VSH) has the final word on whether or not the funds are allocated.

 

Q6. How will I know if the identified need is approved?

The school will identify the child’s learning objectives in the PEP. The learning targets and spending plan will be assessed by the Virtual School and the decision communicated through the PEP. it will agreed on the finalised PEP and in a notification through the ePEP system.

 

Q7. The child or young person attends an Academy or Free School; are they still eligible for Pupil Premium Plus?

Yes, the funding is allocated to publicly funded schools including all maintained schools, academies and free schools on the basis of need.

 

Q8. My school has a looked-after child but they are not looked after by Barnet County Council? How do I get the Pupil Premium Plus?

Each individual Local Authority has received the Pupil Premium Plus for their looked after children. They will each have their own methods of distribution. If your school has not been advised of the application process or received the Pupil Premium Plus, you will need to contact the Local Authority Virtual School Head. If you are unable to contact that Local Authority please contact the Barnet Virtual School and we will assist.

 

Q9. Will the school fund out of school clubs, uniform, and trips?

On occasions there are specific activities that improve self-esteem or social skills and will remove a barrier to learning. However, this would need to be clearly linked to the child’s learning targets, stating clearly how it will contribute to improved educational outcomes. Requests should not be agreed on the basis of requests from other professionals. Foster carers have an allocation in their allowances for clothing, uniform, school trips and out of school activities, within reason. There may be occasions when carers and the school can agree to share the costs of a school trip linked to the curriculum, but it is at the discretion of the school. Where this is the case it will be important that it is discussed with the social worker and carers.

 

Q10. Can the Pupil Premium Plus be used to purchase a laptop?

Barnet Virtual School retains some PP+ money and will provide a laptop, if needed, to children in Year 5 or above to support their education.  Laptops for younger children for purposes such as ‘to aid homework’ will not be agreed as fostering services should ensure that foster homes provide suitable facilities for completion of homework or for private study, and therefore children should have access to a computer to support their education within the home, library or through access after school.

 

Q11. Can the Pupil Premium Plus be used to fund Alternative Provision?

 No. Every child is entitled to a full education provision, regardless of whether they are ‘looked- after’ and attract Pupil Premium Plus. The funding should be used for additional interventions and should not be used to replace services, support or resources that the local authority, schools, carers or other agencies working with children in care already provide, or that is provided to all children in the area as universal services as part of the education offer.

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