The Government sets aside a block of money, known as the Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) for schools to use in order to combat the potential impact of poverty on children's educational and life chances. Indicators of deprivation are used to ascertain those children who are eligible for support, and the money is divided between schools on this basis. The Government also sets aside money for children who have been adopted from care, in recognition of the fact that early childhood experience is crucial in long-term development, and children in these circumstances may well have undergone early trauma. Of course, there is not an inevitable casual link between low income and low attainment, and many children from less affluent backgrounds do extremely well in school. However, there is a historical and statistical correlation between low income and lower achievement in general terms, and the PPG is designed to help diminish the difference in attainment between children from low income households and their peers.
Every individual school must give consideration to how best to use the PPG in order to ensure the maximum benefit for the children who qualify for it. Each school also has a statutory duty to report on how the money is being used. The amount of money that each school receives varies widely, depending on how many children qualify. At Willow Bank Junior School, the proportion of children who qualify for the PPG is below the national average, which means that, whilst the amount of money we receive is comparatively small, we are able to tailor its use to individual needs, which is consistent with our ambition to cater for all the children in school on an individual basis. We also recognise that there will be other children in school who, whilst not meeting the criteria for the PPG, also live in circumstances where money is tight, or where other factors exist which may impact on achievement. We seek to provide a school environment which overcomes the potential impact of disadvantage of all kinds, in whatever way this is manifested for individual children.
For the financial year 2017-18, schools received £1,320 per child on the pupil premium register, and £1,900 for each child in the adopted from care category. In total, Willow Bank Junior School has been allocated £26,200 of PPG funding for this financial year.