Service Pupil Premium
We receive vast numbers of enquiries on the Service Pupil Premium and how schools help and support children through pastoral care.
AFF created an AFF Excellence Award to highlight all the good things that are being done in schools with the hope to encourage others.
What is the Service Pupil Premium (SPP)?
Ideas on how the Service Pupil Premium can be spent
The Service Pupil Premium: what you think
Service Pupil Premium for the early years: have your say
House of Commons Library Briefing Paper
At AFF we receive a lot of questions about SPP and we are conscious that many people don’t really know how this money is, or could be spent to benefit our children as well as knowing who to ask about it and what we can ask from our schools. Here is a handy list to remind you what SPP is all about. Read more
- SPP is money that is paid directly to state schools, free Schools and academies across England for supporting Service children. The amount is £300 per child in Years R-11.
- The Premium was introduced by the Department for Education (DfE) as part of the commitment to delivering the Armed Forces Covenant. The premium enables schools to provide extra, mainly pastoral, support for children with parents in the Armed Forces.
- This premium is for children of currently serving Service Personnel, for those who have had a Service parent who has died in Service and also those who have left including through injury for up to a maximum of six years.
- Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have their own administrations and therefore have different arrangements. The premium in Northern Ireland is sourced differently and is applied for in October each year. This premium is also not for independent schools or for MOD Schools.
- SPP is different from the Pupil Premium. Very few Service children are eligible for the Pupil Premium.
- Schools decide how the money is to be spent on Service children mainly on pastoral support. Unlike the Pupil Premium, SPP is not for attainment; however, mobile Service children may need targeted help in a new school to catch up with their class.
- School need to show how this money is spent, and OFSTED will check up on this. Different schools can and will spend the money in different ways; AFF has examples of best practice.
- A child must have a formal dependency on the Service parent to be eligible for SPP.
- If you home educate your child, you agree to take on the financial responsibility of them and therefore are not eligible for SPP.
- SPP is different from the Education Support Fund (ESF). The funding comes directly from the Department for Education (DfE) and the ESF is funded by the MOD. The ESF can be applied for by all state schools across the whole of the UK.
- If you have spoken to the Head Teacher because you have a concern about how the money is being spent and haven’t received a satisfactory answer, then the best thing to do is to write to the Board of Governors.
- The AFF Excellence for Forces Families (Service Premium) Award has run for the last three years, and you can find further information on last years’ award by clicking here.
- SPP cannot be claimed retrospectively.
- If your child was never registered for SPP whilst the parent was serving, and the Service person has now left the services, then they will not be able to register your child now for the school to claim SPP.
What can you do?
Let your school know that you are a Service family so that this can be noted on the January school census (or October for Northern Ireland) and enable the school to claim the Service Pupil Premium.
You may like to take in a copy of the Army&You article, or the article below, to show your school some examples of how other schools have supported their Service children.
If you have any further concerns or questions about SPP, email Lucy Scott at email@example.com.
Are you worried about how your school spends SPP? Has your school asked for ideas on how to support Service children in school? Here is a list of the top 20 spends from our award nominations from 2014. Read more
Top 20 spending ideas from our Service Pupil Premium Award 2014:
- Learning Support Assistant dedicated to the emotional wellbeing and academic achievement of Service children
- Weekly pizza lunch day or café for children with a parent away
- Reading Force materials
- Teddy bear mascots like Sergeant Camopatch
- Computer equipment for ebluey club/skype chat time
- Half-termly social events for parents and children
- Website page for Service families
- Themed visits and outings
- Forces choir
- Moving-schools support including ‘My passport’
- After school clubs including combat club, football club, or sports themed particularly to involve more role models for the children
- Camera equipment for photographs
- Rapid writing programme
- Welcome films made by pupils
- Deployment display boards
- Still photo books and talking photo books
- Memory boxes for children moving on
- Homework support groups
- Around the world assembly
- Service children’s base within school, with a bank of computers for scanning school work to email parents who are away and keep them in touch.
If you would like more information about any of the ideas that are listed here, contact Lucy Scott, AFF Education and Childcare Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is SPP necessary? How do you think it helps your children in school? We have looked at the nominations from our AFF Excellence awards and the following quotes summarise why SPP is invaluable. Read more
‘I have noticed that my daughter has gained so much more confidence in herself. She would not work in groups and would never put hand up to answer questions in front of the whole class. But, since going to these groups she gained a lot of confidence to work with other people and has even asked her teacher if she could read a book to read to her class. I am so happy they took time to help my daughter.’
‘They run a SMILE program which helps children learn social interaction and relationships, this helped my son learn to make friends as this is his first time in a school away from everyone he knew.’
‘The school purchased recordable diaries for Forces families to use when a parent is deployed or to assist the transition to new schools. The parents/teachers and children can record messages and insert pictures, cards or examples of school work to help with communication and to ease the transition or the time when a parent is away.’
‘The Lunchtime club is an great area for the kids to just go and get off their chest all the things that normal (civilian) children don't have to deal with without being judged if you get upset; they all understand what it is like and give them the space that, sometimes, is all they need.'
‘They have helped me sort things for her in her new school, which has no Forces children and couldn't understand the implications of us moving and not just popping in to fill in paperwork.’
‘Our wish is that the children have and will remember our school with positive, enjoyable and lasting memories throughout their lives.’
Currently there is no specific funding for early years children. This is something that AFF is monitoring and gathering evidence about.
To have your say on this, please email your experiences and let us know why you think Service children under five need this funding to support the mobility and separation in their lives.
You can email the Education and Childcare Specialist, Lucy Scott, at email@example.com
The House of Commons has produced a Library Briefing Paper on the Pupil Premium, including the Service Pupil Premium.
So, what is a Library Briefing Paper? The following quote is from the paper itself. It states: ‘The House of Commons Library research service provides MPs and their staff with the impartial briefing and evidence base they need to do their work in scrutinising government, proposing legislation and supporting constituents.’
This particular one explains the history of the Service Pupil Premium, the differences between it and the Pupil Premium, and its purpose. There is also a section on school admissions for pupils eligible for the Service Pupil Premium.