What is Pupil Premium Plus funding and how can it be used to support vulnerable pupils?

What is Pupil Premium Plus funding and how can it be used to support vulnerable pupils?

What is Pupil Premium Plus (PPP) funding and why is it in place?

Children who’ve experienced trauma and loss in their early lives view the world through a different lens and need particular support to give them a chance to access (and hopefully thrive in) our current education system – see our earlier blog about this.

In recognition of the need for additional support, Pupil Premium Plus (PPP) funding was introduced by the DfE several years ago and currently stands at £2,300 per child per year for looked after and previously looked after children. It is available for pupils from Reception through to Year 11 in state-funded education in England. If a child has adoptive, Special Guardianship Order or Child Arrangement Order status, parents and guardians must declare this to the school before the January census, in order for the school to receive this funding.

There is also Early Years Pupil Premium additional funding for early years settings to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged 3 and 4 year olds (this equates to up to £302 per year, depending on the number of hours the child attends the setting, and is not restricted to those in care or adopted from care).

It should be noted here that PPP money for looked after children is managed by the Local Authority Virtual School and allocated to schools; the same funds for previously looked after children are managed entirely by schools themselves.

PPP funding is not the same as Pupil Premium funding in school settings and the two can be easily confused; however, schools should be spending them in ways appropriate to the needs of each cohort of children eligible for extra support.

Role of the Designated Teacher (for LAC & post-LAC)

Governing Bodies of all maintained schools are responsible for ensuring a Designated Teacher for looked after and previously looked after children is in post. It is their responsibility to promote the educational achievement of looked after and previously looked after children within the school setting – they will therefore play a large role in overseeing provision of additional support.

It is also a widely acknowledged expectation that a good practice model is for the Designated Teacher to work in close partnership with both parents (and social workers, where appropriate) and relevant class teachers and support staff to consider how the money is best spent to benefit the children within the cohort. Many schools use Personal Education Plan formats or similar and review these at regular points throughout the school year. Advice and support may also be obtained from the local *Virtual School (for both looked after and previously looked after children). In all cases, schools must be transparent in their use of PPP funding and it should not be used to supplement other areas of a school’s budget.

What might schools best spend their funding on?

Here are just a few suggestions for areas where investment in further support may be considered. The focus is on the child’s social, emotional and wider needs:

  • Providing opportunities for nurture and relationship-building
  • Scaffolding children’s social skills and peer relationships
  • Supporting emotional literacy and emotion regulation
  • Supporting children to cope with transitions and change
  • Developing children’s executive functioning skills
  • Addressing barriers to information sharing and joint working.

The above categories were taken from the latest PAC-UK guide – further details can be found here and a further useful resource for ideas for secondary pupils can be found here.

Staff training

A critical point in providing children in this cohort with the best possible educational experience and outcomes, is to ensure all staff involved in supporting vulnerable children receive adequate training in attachment and trauma. Staff training is therefore a very relevant use of PPP funding. Where possible, training is best delivered on a whole school basis as a consistent approach to support is essential, but where time and resources are limited, schools may consider sending individuals working with specific children to take up training and cascade their learning.

Mandy Parry Training runs a popular half-day introductory open course in attachment and trauma, aimed at anyone working with vulnerable children in the region – within this we explore strategies for supporting vulnerable children in the classroom (though principles are transferrable to other settings). Our experienced trainer is both a qualified trainer and adoptive parent.

The next course takes place on Friday 28th June 2019: Book here

We are also able to deliver whole-school training in this area – please contact us for details if this is of interest to you.

*Virtual Schools in the region:

South Gloucestershire

Emma Spillane is a Freelance Trainer in Attachment & Trauma and runs a business which provides specialist business support to professionals working with trauma, education and/or music: www.spillaneconsulting.co.uk