The Service Pupil Premium (SPP) was introduced by The Department for Education (DfE) in 2011 to enable schools within England to provide additional, mainly pastoral, support to Service children on the school roll.
For the 2020-21 school year, the SPP is £310 per Service child in Reception Year through to Year 11 provided the child is registered on the school roll before 21 January 2021 when the Spring school census is conducted.
If a school is not aware that a child has a parent in HM Forces they will not be able to claim SPP, reducing the support the school is able to provide for Service pupils.
All parents with children in state funded schools in England should ensure that their child’s Head Teacher is made aware of their Service status, before the Spring school census. The information recorded by schools regarding Service status is protected, and the data regarding individual children is not shared.
How do I tell the school that my child is a Service child?
Some schools ask parents to provide characteristic information including the Services Children Indicator for their children. If you are asked to provide this information, please ensure that you indicate that your child is a Service child. If your school does not request this information, then please inform the Head Teacher that your child is a Service child, before 21 January 2021.
I don't want to tell the school because my child may be singled out
If the school is not aware that your child is a Service child the school will not be able to claim the additional funding available to help provide, mainly pastoral, support for your child.
Why does my child need additional support?
Service children change schools much more frequently than their civilian peers. This can generate additional administrative or curriculum demands on schools, particularly if the children must follow a different curriculum at the new school. In addition, when a Service parent is deployed on operations, children are often in need of additional pastoral support and nurturing at school, which the additional resources will help to provide.
Isn't it a security risk to tell the school that I am a member of HM Forces?
Other than the contribution they make to linking pupil records across different data sets, the school will not itself make any use of pupil names. Pupil names will be held separately and securely and accessed only by those members of staff who have the right level of security clearance. Pupil records are held on the National Pupil Database; however, the Service Children’s Indicator is marked as ‘Protected’ and therefore this information is not shared.
Does this apply to the children of Reserve personnel or MPGS?
No. SPP is only provided for the children of Regular personnel. Reservists (apart from those on FTRS FC) and MPGS are not subject to the same high level of mobility and are more likely to have support through being permanently settled in the local community.
Will Service schools overseas also get this additional money?
No. SPP is restricted to schools in England only. Service schools overseas are run by MOD Schools, which are funded wholly by MOD and all the children attending are connected to the Services. The additional support that SPP is designed to provide is already delivered in all MOD schools.
Why is SPP only available in England?
There is currently no SPP for schools within Devolved Administrations, although the MOD Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) continues to work closely with partners in the Devolved Administrations to highlight the unique needs of Service children living in those areas.
How much is SPP?
Schools currently receive £310 per eligible Service pupil and the funds are paid to the school through the normal channels as part of their annual budget. SPP does not go directly to the individual child but to support all the Service children at the school.
What direction are schools given on how to spend their SPP?
SPP is owned by the Department for Education (DfE). The DfE provide the funding to enable schools to offer, mainly pastoral, support during challenging times to help mitigate impacts arising from Service life. This could include anything from a Service parent being away, being injured on active service, to bereavement. It is up to the school and their governors to determine how best to spend the funds to support the needs of Service pupils.
DCYP published a Best Practice guide back in December 2016 which can be accessed on the DfE gov.uk pages on SPP.
How can I find out what the SPP is being used for in my child’s school?
If you wish to know what the money is being spent on, then you would need to ask the Head Teacher of your child’s school. Schools are required to publish this information on a yearly basis and therefore it should be made available on the school’s website.
Can SPP be transferred?
SPP is not transferable between schools and does not move with the pupil when they leave the school.
What is the Ever-Measure?
Schools will still receive SPP for up to six years for children whose parent(s) left the Armed Forces, provided the children were recorded as Service children in a January school census from 2016 onwards, prior to their parent(s) leaving the forces. Schools do not need to flag these children as Service children on the January census, as this will be noted on the National Pupil database and funding will continue on that basis. The ever-measure also applies when Service parents’ divorce/separate or when a Service parent dies in service.