Parents in Knowle West are being urged to check if their children are eligible for pupil premium funding – which could see Bristol schools benefitting from up to £3.4m extra funding.
Pupil premium funding is available for students who qualify for free school meals. Since 2014, all children attending school in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, have been automatically entitled to these.
But not all parents and carers of eligible children know they still need to sign up for the pupil premium – and if they don’t, the school loses out on getting this income.
For every student who signs up, schools receive around £1,320 per primary school pupil and £935 per secondary school pupil.
This money can be spent on a wide range of things to raise the achievement of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers. Examples include breakfast clubs, school trips and additional teachers as well as one to one support and help with buying new uniforms.
In order for a child to be eligible to receive free school meals and for the school to receive the pupil premium funding – a parent or carer must be claiming one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (as long as you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Universal Credit
Bristol has a higher number of students eligible for this funding than the England average, The council estimates that up to 2,200 primary aged and around 800 secondary aged children are not claiming free school meals but may be able to do so.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees says: “In these times of austerity it is important to maximise all sources of funding available to our schools, especially money designated to closing the gap between rich and poor students.
“We want to poverty-proof the school day and the pupil premium can make a tangible difference, so I’d encourage all parents to make sure they know if their child is eligible and speak to their school if so.”
Parents who think they might be eligible are being encouraged to contact their child’s school More information can be found on the council website: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/schools-learning-early-years/free-school-meals