The pupil premium plus (PP+) for children in care is additional funding for schools to support and help raise their educational attainment and progress. The Virtual School devolves this funding to schools, and works with designated teachers, social workers and carers to target and utilise this funding effectively.
Introduction to the pupil premium plus
The funding is provided by the Department for Education and devolved to schools and education providers by the Virtual School. All children in care to Northamptonshire County Council enrolled at a school from reception to year 11 are eligible to receive the pupil premium plus.
Children previously in care who are enrolled at a school from reception to year 11 may also be eligible to receive PP+ funding, however the Virtual School does not oversee the allocation or devolution of PP+ funding to these children. The Virtual School can, however provide advice and information regarding the PP+ for children previously in care.
The Virtual School has produced a one-page guide to the pupil premium plus for carers, designated teachers, and other individuals working with children in care:
How will the pupil premium plus be allocated and paid?
The Virtual School automatically transfers PP+ funding to schools and settings where a child in care is on roll, and the PEP has been completed through ePEP in the previous term. Schools should use the ePEP system to record their PP+ spend and assess its impact on a termly basis.
For the 2020 to 2021 financial year, schools and settings can receive up to £2,345 for each enrolled child in care, with funding transmitted on a termly basis. The termly values of PP+ funding for this financial year are displayed in the table:
The Virtual School may wish to withhold PP+ funding from schools whose plans are quality assured as 'inadequate'. The PEP document will need to provide a comprehensive plan of how the funding will be spent and must be linked to clear SMART targets.
If a child is new to care and a PEP is completed in the term they enter care, the PP+ monies for that term will be devolved to schools.
Children in care to other local authorities will receive their PP+ funding from the authority they are in care to, even if they are studying at a school in Northamptonshire. Other authorities may choose to devolve their PP+ funding at different times and for different amounts.
Pupil premium plus for children previously in care
Some children previously in care are also eligible to receive PP+ funding, however 'Post-LAC' PP+ funding is not managed or devolved by the Virtual School.
To receive this funding, it is the responsibility of the school the child attends to formally record the child's previously looked-after status in their annual January school census, with funding then allocated in the summer. If a child's Post-LAC status is not recorded at this point, schools may face a delay of over one year before this funding can be allocated.
Although the Virtual School does not devolve Post-LAC PP+ funding, the Virtual School can provide advice and guidance for schools, social workers, and carers on how the PP+ can be used effectively to support children previously in care.
To qualify for previously looked-after PP+ funding, a child must have been "...looked after by an English or Welsh local authority immediately before being adopted, or [have] left local authority care on a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order)"
Pupil Premium 2020 to 2021: Conditions of Grant, Department for Education
How can the funding be utilised?
The PP+ should be used to support SMART targets within a student's PEP with reference to their unique situation and needs. These targets and related expenditures should be reviewed on a termly basis at the PEP meeting. The Virtual School, designated teachers, and social workers will work together to identify appropriate and effective uses of the PP+.
The Virtual School recommends that the PP+ is used primarily in the following areas of development. Examples of each intervention are displayed for reference purposes.
In-class academic attainment
Providing one-to-one tuition or TA support in class.
Training staff, and funding the staffing costs of key adults who are attachment and trauma aware.
Facilitating visits to further or higher education centres.
Taking a student in year 6 to visit their new school and teachers.
Helping students in Year 2 familiarise themselves with a change of environment as they start Key Stage 2.
|Wider achievement and extra-curricular learning outside the classroom|
Taking students on visits to universities, or careers events.
Supporting the costs of after-school clubs and societies.
|Attendance and inclusion|
Addressing barriers preventing students from attending school on a regular basis.
Providing regular meet-and-greets or a designated mentor for students to access during the school day.
|Social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH)|
Helping to provide counselling or resources to address ongoing SEMH concerns.
Paying towards the cost of an Educational Psychology service.
Supporting interventions which de-escalate negative behaviour in the classroom.
Support to build confidence and increase self-awareness.
The PP+ should not be used to provide services that the local authority is responsible for funding, such as support for foster carers, school uniforms or transport to get the child to school.
Pupil premium plus arrangements
Detailed information on the PP+, and the formal arrangements by which funding will be transferred by the Northamptonshire Virtual School are available in the following document:
Early years pupil premium (EYPP)
Children in care aged three or four who are in receipt of 15 hours of free childcare are eligible to receive the early years pupil premium (EYPP). The Virtual School is responsible for identifying qualifying children and liaising with the Early Years Funding Team to give this funding to nurseries and early years providers.
Like the PP+, the EYPP should be used to narrow the gap in attainment and social development between children in care and their peers. Eligible children in care may receive up a maximum of £300 per financial year, and planned expenditure and associated progress should be recorded by the child's early years provider through their PEP.
The Department for Education has produced a detailed research report examining effective use and creative planning for the EYPP. The report is available through the link below:
For additional information or queries regarding the pupil premium plus, please contact the Virtual School.
Phone: 01604 365912
The Virtual School does not manage or oversee the pupil premium for free school meals, Ever 6 or service children. Please visit the council's 'Pupil premium' page for information on this funding.