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St Thomas ofCanterbury

Pupil Premium Guidance for Parents

What is Pupil Premium?

Pupil Premium is a government initiative that gives additional funding to schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils, to close any gaps between them and their peers.  This additional funding can be used to help families who would benefit from economic support. It was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for Free School Meals (FSM) at any point in the last six years.  Looked After Children (LAC) / children adopted from care and those of service personnel also attract funding.

Am I eligible for Free School Meals which attracts Pupil Premium funding for the school?

All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 receive Universal Free School Meals.  When a child reaches Year 3, the lunches are no longer free.  However, if you receive certain benefits such as Income Support, you may be eligible for Benefit Related Free School Meals.  Check out your eligibility here:

If I think I am eligible for Free School Meals but my child's lunch is already free (as they are in Rec, Year 1 or Year 2), what is the point in me applying?

If you register and establish that you are entitled to benefit related Free School Meals (or have been eligible in the last six years), the extra “Pupil Premium” funding received by the school is used to support your child educationally and financially, enabling them to make progress throughout the school and ensuring they are provided with an excellent education.

As a parent, do I receive any of the Pupil Premium funding?

No, the school receives the Pupil Premium funding, and schools have the freedom to spend this in a way they feel will best support the educational, pastoral and financial needs of the child. The funding can be spent in a number of ways including providing parents with direct financial support (Free School Meals; supermarket vouchers; milk; i-pads or laptops; school uniform; support with school trips including swimming, workshops and other enrichment activities such as learning a musical instrument / sports clubs).  This is agreed by the governors when the school feels that the child would really benefit from opportunities that would not otherwise be open to them. The school also uses part of this funding for more indirect support to fund regular and ad hoc pupil interventions; TA support; pastoral care; family support and counselling sessions.

I have applied for Free School Meals and I am eligible.  What next?

Contact the school to confirm your eligibility.  We can then arrange a meeting to discuss how we can help to support your child throughout the school.

I am already in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals.  Do I need to do anything further?

Each child and family has different needs and different situations.  We would recommend that you request a meeting with the school to discuss ways in which we can continue to support your child throughout the school.

Can I apply for Free School Meals for my Nursery aged child?

Nursery children are not entitled to Free School Meals as they are not yet of statutory school age. Children in Nursery do however, receive free school milk.  Your child’s Early Years education provider may be able to receive a small amount of funding each year to help with your child’s education. See link below for details on how to apply:  You will need to reapply for benefit related Free School Meals once your child gets to Reception age.

Any further questions

We are happy to answer any questions you might have regarding Pupil Premium Funding and Free School Meals.  Please see our school website for further information, including our Pupil Premium Strategy Statement.

St Thomas of

High St, Puckeridge,
Ware, SG11 1RZ

08:50 - 15:15 (Opening Hours: 32.5 per week)

01920 821450