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Pupil Premium

What is Pupil Premium funding?

The Pupil Premium is funding  given to schools to tackle disadvantage and social inequality. The amount of money is calculated by the Government from:

  • The number of children who have been eligible for free school meals within the past six years.
  • The number of children who have spent time in, or been adopted from, Local Authority Care.
  • Additional money is also given to the school to support children who have had a parent in active military service during the past three years.

Important information about Free School Meals and accessing additional funds for your child.

Could your child be entitled to additional school funding?

In our school  if your child is entitled to Free School Meals (FSM) the school receives additional funding, through a programme called ‘Pupil Premium’ which we use to support pupils in the following ways:-

  • Providing additional academic support for FSM children who need to boost progress or be challenged further.
  • Providing financial support towards additional costs of educational trips.
  • Providing financial support towards uniform and equipment.
  • Additional resources to support educational needs.

The following information will help you establish whether you qualify. Please use the link to decide if you should apply: FSM Support for Parents

Who can get free school meals?

All pupils in reception, year one or year two in any primary school is entitled to ‘universal’ free school meals. This is not the same as ‘Free School Meals’ (FSM). 

Pupils that are eligible for free school meals receive additional funding called ‘Pupil Premium.’  If you apply and are eligible, even if at some point your circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for the actual free school meal, school will receive the Pupil Premium funding for six years.  Which means all the additional supported listed at the top of this letter will continue for the next 6 years. (Or, whilst your child is at our school).

Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 can also apply for FSM (even though they get universal free school meals), and are encouraged to do so, as this will grant the Pupil Premium funding and FSM benefits to the pupil, alongside the universal free school meals.

However, you have to apply to see if you are eligible, as you will not automatically get the additional support.  

You may be eligible for free school meals if you get:

  • Income Support (IS)
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA-IR)
  • Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance (IB-JSA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue, does not exceed £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run on’- the payment you receive for a further four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax CreditUniversal Credit

The pupil premium gives schools extra funding to raise the achievement of your child. It is worth over £1000 per pupil for the school and provides a highly valuable impact on the additional support we are able to provide to your child.

Who can register for pupil premium / FSM?

If you receive one of the above benefits that entitle your child to free school meals and the additional funding through Pupil Premium, you should make an application through your local council.

If your child is in or starting reception, year one or year two they will receive the universal free school meals which you don’t have to apply for. However, if you think you are eligible for ‘Free School Meals’ then it is important that you apply – so that you don’t miss out on the Pupil Premium funding for your child. If you get any of the above benefits, please register your child so the school can benefit from pupil premium.

Your child’s ‘Universal’ free school meals will stop at the end of year two, unless you receive the above qualifying benefits and you have already registered your child with us.

How to apply for free school meals and pupil premium:

Please complete the online form with our local authority:  


If you have received this benefit in the past and have moved to us from another authority: ie your child has attended a Newcastle school can you please call Northumberland County Council on 01670 623592 as even if your circumstances have changed you might still qualify and they will check for you.

What happens next?

If you are eligible, the authority will let the school know that your child can have free school meals, we then have arrangements for letting the dinner service staff know.

Once your application has been granted for free school meals and pupil premium you never need to complete another application. The authority will check on a regular basis that your children are still entitled to the meals and will let you know if you are no longer eligible. 

The school holds information on pupils who access Pupils Premium and FSM alongside other confidential records and does not release this (other than statistics) to other agencies.

Once we have confirmation of your child’s FSM status the school office will also:

  • Make you aware of any up-coming trips that you will be able to claim a reduction in costs for.
  • We will also provide your child with 2 x Sweatshirts or cardigans, 3 x Polo shirts all with school logo, from ‘Tots to Teams’.
  • In your first year we will also provide a PE bag and a book bag.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the school office should require any further help or support.

Why do we need Pupil Premium funding?

The school uses the money to support children identified as disadvantaged within school to ensure they make the same progress, and reach the same levels of attainment, as their peers. “Let your light shine” (Matthew 5: 16) surmises the vision and belief we have for all pupils at Richard Coates. All our pupils are individuals who have great potential to do well; not just academically but also in their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. Those pupils who meet the Pupil Premium criteria are believed to be more vulnerable to underachievement than others. These pupils need more support and encouragement than others to achieve their full potential. It is our professional responsibility to do our utmost to ensure this happens.

How do we use Pupil Premium funding?

By really knowing our pupils who qualify for Pupil Premium funding we tailor our support packages to meet their individual and specific needs. We provide both direct and indirect support to pupils with the overall aim of raising their achievement; the impact of any support is closely monitored to ensure it meets the needs of increasing the achievement of each pupil.

We do this in a number of ways:

  • Additional pastoral support and mentoring.
  • Ensuring the progress and attainment of pupils is closely monitored.
  • Providing high quality interventions.
  • Providing an enriched curriculum which presents opportunities that pupils may not otherwise experience, e.g. musical instrument tuition, sports coaching and residential visits.
  • Providing access to high quality resources, including digital technologies and library resources outside of the normal school day.
  • Ensuring pupils have the right educational resources, uniform and equipment.
  • Booster and catch up sessions.
  • Small group and one-to-one tuition.
  • Smaller class sizes for Literacy and Numeracy.

Statistically Richard Coates has fewer students (14%) who are in receipt of Free School Meals when compared to schools nationally. As part of our Christian ethos of the school we view the needs of all students as important and strive to create the best opportunities and experiences for all, so that all may “have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

For further detail about how we spent the money and the impact of the funding, please see the documents below:

Pupil Premium Review Doc 2014-15

Pupil Premium Review Doc 2015-16

Pupil Premium Review Doc 2016-17

Evaluating the Impact of the Pupil Premium Funding 2018 – 19 (1)

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