In particular, from April 2014, schools in England can receive the pupil premium for children adopted from care, or those who left care under a special guardianship order on or after December 30, 2005. Schools can also claim the pupil premium for children who left care under a residence order on or after October 14, 1991. But in order to be eligible, adoptive parents need to self-declare before January 16, 2014 (the date of the school census).
The Rt Hon David Laws MP explained in December 2013, that “for the first time, the pupil premium will include children who have been adopted from care or leave care under a special guardianship or residence order. This change recognizes that the needs of those children who leave care do not change overnight.”
What is the pupil premium?
In essence, the pupil premium provides schools with extra funding to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils from reception to year 11. The government believes that pupil premium funding is one of the best ways to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers.
Who gets the money?
Usually the pupil premium is paid directly to schools, allocated to them for every pupil who receives FSM. This is because the government believes that school staff are best placed to assess what is needed in order to address the gap between the child receiving FSM and their peers.
Local authorities decide how to allocate the pupil premium when it comes to pupils from low-income families in non-mainstream settings, and they must consult with the non-mainstream setting to work out how best to do this. Also, local authorities are responsible for looked-after children and they make payments to schools and academies where an eligible looked-after child is on roll.
One way to find out how your school has used pupil premium funds is to review the online report that each school issues for parents. Certain criteria must be included in these reports, including how much was allocated to the school and what the school intends to do with their pupil premium allocation.