The Federation of Fairfield and Colneis

Free School Meals, Pupil Premium and COVID Catch Up Funding

Pupil Premium Statement


The pupil premium is a sum of money given to schools each year by the Government to improve the attainment of disadvantaged children. This is based on research showing that children from low income families perform less well at school than their peers. Often, children who are entitled to pupil premium face challenges such as poor language and communication skills, lack of confidence and issues with attendance and punctuality. The pupil premium is intended to directly benefit the children who are eligible, helping to narrow the gap between them and their classmates.

At Fairfield and Colneis, the Headteacher, Mark Girling and the Pupil Premium Lead, Emma Gooding, are responsible for planning, managing and reporting on the use of Pupil Premium funding. In addition, the governing body oversees Pupil Premium Strategy and an impact summary is reported annually.

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To find out if you are eligible for Free School Meals and to make an application click here

Funding Eligibility

The Secretary of State for Education lays down the following terms and conditions on which assistance is given in relation to the pupil premium grant (PPG) payable to schools. PPG provides funding for two policies:

  • raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities to reach their potential
  • supporting children and young people with parents in the regular armed forces

Current funding (for the financial year beginning 1st April 2021) for each eligible pupil recorded on the January census is contained in the table below.

Pupils in year groups reception to year 6 recorded as Ever 6 free school meals£1,345
Looked-after children (LAC) defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority£2,345
Children who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order                       £2,345
Pupils in year groups reception to year 11 recorded as Ever 6 service child or in receipt of a child pension from the Ministry of Defence£310

It is essential that all pupils entitled to receive PPG are doing so. Schools will encourage parents to apply for Free School Meals.

Terms on which PPG is allocated to schools

The grant may be spent in the following ways:

  • for the purposes of the school; that is, for the educational benefit of pupils registered at that school
  • for the benefit of pupils registered at other maintained schools or academies
  • on community facilities; for example, services whose provision furthers any charitable purpose for the benefit of pupils at the school or their families, or people who live or work in the locality in which the school is situated

Therefore, the grant should not be seen as funding that is for the particular pupil (unless the pupil is Looked After by the local authority). The school reserves the right to use the grant for the benefit of all pupils as well as targeting barriers to learning for that pupil.

The grant does not have to be completely spent by schools in the financial year beginning 1 April 2021; some or all of it may be carried forward to future financial years.

Using the Pupil Premium Effectively

The Government guidance sets out that schools can choose how to spend their pupil premium money, as they are best placed to identify what would be of most benefit to the children who are eligible. The key to effective spending is that the school identifies the barrier to learning and uses the funding to target this area so that the pupil’s learning improves to help to narrow gaps between disadvantaged children and their peers. It is important that the strategies selected for spending are effective in overcoming the barriers to learning for the pupils; where possible the strategies chosen will be evidence-informed to enhance the chances that the impact of the strategy is effective. Often, all of the children in a class will reap some benefit from how the school spends its pupil premium.

Please refer to our Federation’s Pupil Premium Strategy Statement which can be found on our school website to find out how we intend to spend our pupil premium grant to support the pupils’ across our Federation.

LAC Premium

If the pupil is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority the school will receive LAC Premium. The spending of this allocation is not managed by school but by the local authority – through the designated virtual school head (VSH) in the local authority that looks after the child. It must be used without delay for the benefit of the looked-after child’s educational needs as described in their personal education plan (PEP).The VSH should ensure there are arrangements in place to discuss how the child will benefit from pupil premium funding with the designated teacher who best understands their needs. Processes for allocating funds to a child’s education setting should be as simple as possible to avoid delay.

Parents influence on how the pupil premium is used

There is no obligation for the school to consult parents about how their use of the PPG they claim for a child, although parents’ suggestions will be considered by the school.

Online Reporting

Schools must publish their strategy for using the pupil premium on their website. This report will outline the following details:

  • how much pupil premium funding was received for this academic year
  • details of the main barriers to educational achievement that the disadvantaged children in our school face
  • how we intend to spend our pupil premium funding to overcome these barriers and the reasons for the approaches we have chosen
  • how we will measure the effect of the pupil premium
  • the date of the next pupil premium strategy review

For the previous academic year, we will publish an impact report which will detail exactly how we spent our pupil premium funding and the impact this had on the pupils.

COVID Catch-Up Funding

The government have announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up lost time after school closure. This is especially important for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds. Mainstream schools will receive £80 for each pupil in from reception to year 11 inclusive, across the Federation the funding will equate to approx. £49,000 in total, paid in 3 termly instalments.

At Fairfield and Colneis, this funding is being used in a variety of ways, including employing 2 FTE intervention teachers to deliver interventions in reading, writing and maths to children who have been identified through standardised testing and teacher assessments as falling behind.  The success of these interventions will be demonstrated through comparisons of entry and exit assessments and through subsequent rounds of termly assessments.