Print pagePrint page

Pupil Premium Plus - supporting looked after children in Hertfordshire

In 2014-15 there are several changes to the Pupil Premium grant which is now called the Pupil Premium Plus Grant for looked after children.  There are also changes to how it is distributed to schools.

For the 2014-15 financial year, there is a notional allocation for looked after children of £1900 an increase of £1000 per pupil. This funding is available for all children looked after who have been in care of at least one day in year groups R-11. 

The Local Authority that looks after the child will continue to be responsible for distributing the Pupil Premium Plus payments to schools and academies. This will mean that the schools who have children on roll looked after by other local authorities will receive the funding from the ‘corporate parent’ authority for the child.

The biggest change in the allocation of the funding is that the Virtual School Head Teacher has responsibility and accountability for making sure that there are effective arrangements in place for allocating Pupil Premium Plus funding to benefit children looked after by their Authority.  Each Virtual Head must develop a policy for allocation of the funding for the local authority

The grant must be managed by the Virtual School and used to improve outcomes and “narrow the gap” as identified in the Personal Education Plan (PEP) in consultation with the Designated Teacher for the school.  How the funding is to be spent will be discussed during the child’s Personal Education Planning meeting but must be used efficiently and effectively.   

As a result, the Personal Education Plan (PEP) will need to be monitored even more closely by the Designated Teacher, the Virtual School team, the Social Worker, Team Leaders and Independent Reviewing Officers.  The PEP will now be required to be reviewed on a termly basis.

In Hertfordshire, the policy is to allocate a fixed amount to schools to support financial planning and also offer a means to bid for additional funds according to the differing need of the child.  Schools will receive £1500 of the premium in termly instalments of £500 per looked after child on roll, starting in the summer term 2014. The funding will continue to be paid each term as previously.

The remaining £400 for each child will be retained centrally.  Schools are encouraged to make a bid for extra funding when required to meet the differing needs of children. How additional funding could be used will be agreed during the Personal Education Planning process for the child.  Schools and Virtual Heads must be mindful that any centrally held grant can’t be carried forward into a new financial year, and unspent grant will be recovered by the DfE after the 31st of March 2015.

The Pupil Premium will provide funding for schools to help target barriers to learning and close the attainment gap between students.  The four Head Teachers who sit on the Virtual School Governing body will both scrutinise the impact of the use of the funding and will receive a termly audit of the centrally held funding  so that the spend is transparent. An annual report will be made to the Corporate Parenting and Children’s Services Panel as part of the process of accountability. To support this process, there will be a streamlining of the PEP format that will enable schools to effectively report on the impact of the use of the funding in school.

The DfE have also introduced a new category of Pupil Premium Plus that will be paid separately to schools for children who are ‘Post-LAC’.  These are children who have left care under a Special Guardianship Order, a Residence Order or as a result of Adoption from care. Schools attract £1900 for every child identified as being adopted from care/post-LAC on the January School Census. This is additional funding given to schools to improve the educational and personal outcomes for pupils who have been adopted from care, including (but not limited to) their attainment.

From April 2014, maintained schools, non-maintained special schools and general hospital schools will attract the Pupil Premium for children:

  • that left care under a Residential Order on or after 14 October 1991 (under the Children Act 1989);
  •  that left care under a Special Guardianship Order on or after 30 December 2005 (under the Children Act 1989);
  • that were adopted from care on or after 30 December 2005 (under the Adoption and Children Act 2002);
  • are in Reception to Year 11;
  • where the parent self-declares their child’s status to the school, providing supporting evidence (e.g. an adoption order); and
  • where the school records on the January School Census that it has a child on roll who meets the above criteria.  

The Schools Census 2014 guidance explains exactly what schools need to record on the census return and highlights the sensitivities that may exist around asking parents to self-disclose.

Children adopted from care and post-LAC are no longer looked after and Virtual School Heads do not have a role in promoting their achievement.  Individual schools are responsible for the educational outcomes of children adopted from care/post-LAC on roll and therefore are best placed to decide how to use the Pupil Premium to support these pupils. Schools may wish to discuss the measures they are putting in place with the parents and guardians of the pupils concerned.

If you wish to learn more about Pupil Premium Plus in Hertfordshire, further information can be found on the Virtual School section on the Hertfordshire Grid for Learning website:

 

Related articles