The Early Years Pupil Premium - local schools urge parents to help them secure it

April 1, 2015 6:46 PM

The Pupil Premium, a key Liberal Democrat demand in Coalition, has so far been worth £38 million extra to Newcastle schools.Now it has been extended to younger children and is known as the Early Years Pupil Premium. The explanation of it below is drawn from a letter being sent by one local school to hreelp them claim extra money.

From April 2015, nurseries, schools, childminders and other childcare providers will be able to claim extra funding through the Early Years Pupil Premium to support children's development, learning and care. This document aims to explain who is eligible for this funding, which can only be claimed by the service provider, and what it might be used for in our school.

National data and research tells that children eligible for free school meals tend to do less well. For example in 2014 45% of children eligible for free school meals achieved the expected level at the end of the early years foundation stage compared with 64% of other children. The Early Years Pupil Premium will provide funding to close this gap.

The Early Years Pupil Premium provides an extra 53 pence per hour for three and four year old children whose parents are in receipt of certain benefits or who were formerly in local authority care but who left care because they were adopted or were subject to special guardianship or child care arrangements order. This could mean an extra £302 per year for each child taking up the full 570 hours funded entitlement to early education.

The additional money could make a significant difference to service provider who can choose to use the money in any way they wish in order to improve the quality of the early years education they provide. For example they might use the extra money for additional training for staff on early language, investing in partnership working with colleagues in the area to share good practice or supporting staff in working on specialised areas such as speech and language.

It is well documented that high quality early education can influence how well a child does at both primary and secondary school. The Pupil Premium is already available for school age children and has proved to have given a real boost to children receiving the funding. (See previous article about how Gosforth Academy has used over £1/2 million Pupil Premium it has received in 3 years, including the improved results pupils have achieved.)