Pupil Premium Plus
State-funded schools in England can claim funding to provide additional support for children adopted from care. This funding is called Pupil Premium Plus, and currently equates to £1,900 per child per year. In order to access the funding adopters need to inform the school that their child is adopted before it completes its annual census on Thursday 19 January 2017.
What is Pupil Premium Plus?
Pupil Premium was introduced in 2011 for children eligible for free school meals, children whose parents serve in the armed forces and looked after children, to help reduce the attainment gap between these groups and their peers. In 2013 the Department for Education (DfE) introduced Pupil Premium Plus for looked after and previously looked after children in acknowledgment of the key role schools play in supporting children who have had a difficult start in life. It was initially restricted to children adopted on or after 30 December 2005 but in 2014 was extended to all children adopted from care.
Who is eligible?
The funding is available for pupils from reception age to Year 11 in state-funded education in England who have been adopted from care in England or Wales and attend:
- A local authority maintained school or maintained special school.
- An academy or free school.
- A non-maintained special school, an independent school and other alternative provision (such as home education) where the place or provision is funded by the local authority.
- Children who are educated at home or attend private schools are not currently eligible unless these placements are funded by the local authority.
How can schools access this money?
In order for schools to claim the funding, parents need to provide evidence of their child's adoptive status, for example a photocopy of the adoption order, before it completes its annual January census. If you have previously informed the school of your child's adopted status it should not be necessary to provide evidence again, but if your child has moved schools you will be required to provide evidence again as information is not transferable from one school to another.
What can this money be spent on?
It is up to each individual school to decide how to spend the money but the DfE has said it intends the funding to be spent on ‘helping adopted children emotionally, socially and educationally by providing specific support to raise their attainment and address their wider needs’. The money is not ring fenced and does not have to be spent on the individual child, but should not be used to supplement the general school budget. The DfE recommends schools should consult with parents and guardians on decisions about how to spend this funding, and also suggests schools seek advice from national organisations that specialise in adoption support.