Pupil Premium: school support funding
State-funded schools in England can receive the Pupil Premium funding to help them give extra support for all children adopted from care.
It has been shown in various studies that children adopted from care do not perform as well as their classmates at school. In 2013, less than half of adopted children reached the expected levels of reading, writing and maths at Key Stage 2, compared with 75% of non-adopted children.
What is Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium provides extra funding to state-funded schools to help their staff give extra support to disadvantaged pupils including, but not restricted to, those adopted from care. Children in receipt of free school meals or children of forces families are also included. From April 2014, funding was increased to £1900 per pupil and to include all children adopted from care not just those adopted after 30 December 2005 as previously was the case. It is paid to schools so that they can invest in specific support measures to address the issues that may be preventing them from reaching their potential. It applies to all adopted schoolchildren from Reception class through to Year 11 that were adopted from care.
How the money will be spent
Schools have flexibility over how they use the pupil premium, as they, along with the parents of the adopted children, are best placed to understand their specific needs and to address the barriers that might prevent such children from achieving their full potential. For example, schools could choose to invest in one-to-one tuition or catch-up sessions for particular curriculum subjects, or training for staff on issues relating to attachment. While the money is not ring-fenced to be directly applied to the child, the accountability measures in place around the pupil premium should ensure that schools use the funding specifically to benefit those pupils for whom it has been allocated.
Enabling your child to benefit from Pupil Premium
So that your child’s school can claim the Pupil Premium, you will need to inform the school that your child is adopted and provide supporting evidence, for example a photocopy of the adoption order.
You will need to inform them before the school completes the census. Spring census deadline is January 21 2016. This will then trigger the payment of the Pupil Premium to the school for the next financial year.
More information for adopters
Adoption UK, which is set up by adopters for adopters have additional information about how to work with your school to support your adopted child. Their helpline, open to all adopters, is 0844 848 7900 open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm.