We receive vast numbers of enquiries on the Service Pupil Premium and how schools help and support children through pastoral care.
On this page, you can find out more about what Service Pupil Premium is, who it is for and who can claim it.
01 What is the Service Pupil Premium (SPP)?
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.
- SPP is money that is paid directly to state schools, free schools and academies across England for supporting Service children. The amount is £310 per child in Years R-11, increasing to £320 in 2022/2023.
- 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, children of serving parents who are a member of the Full Time Reserve Service on Full Commitment and their role is deployable, 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 funding in Northern Ireland is sourced differently and is applied for in October each year. This funding is also not for independent schools or for MOD Schools. For any enquiries about the funding in Northern Ireland, please contact the NI Education Support Officer at RC-AWS-N-38X-0Mailbox@mod.gov.uk.
- 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.
- Schools 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.
- 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.
- 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?
In England, let your school know that you are a Service family so that this can be noted on the school census in October and enable the school to claim the Service Pupil Premium. See gov.uk/government/publications/the-service-pupil-premium/service-pupil-premium-examples-of-best-practice for examples of best practice.
If you have any further concerns or questions about SPP, email email@example.com
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02 Ideas on how the Service Pupil Premium can be spent
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 20 ideas from schools who claim this money.
- 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 Imail INtouch 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 AFF Education and Childcare Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org
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03 House of Commons Library Briefing Paper
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.