Information for Service Families

The Service Pupil Premium

What is the Service Pupil Premium?

The Department for Education introduced the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) in April 2011 in recognition of the specific challenges children from service families face and as part of the commitment to delivering the armed forces covenant.

State schools, academies and free schools in England, which have children of service families in school years Reception to Year 11, can receive the SPP funding. It is designed to assist the school in providing the additional support that these children may need and is currently worth £300 per service child who meets the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility criteria

Pupils attract the SPP if they meet the following criteria:

  • one of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces
  • they have been registered as a ‘service child’ in the school census at any point since 2011
  • one of their parents died whilst serving in the armed forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme
  • pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the full time reserve service are classed as service children

The purpose of the Service Pupil Premium

Eligible schools receive the SPP so that they can offer mainly pastoral support during challenging times and to help mitigate the negative impact on service children of family mobility or parental deployment.

How Service Pupil Premium differs from the Pupil Premium

The SPP is there for schools to provide mainly pastoral support for service children, whereas the Pupil Premium was introduced to raise attainment and accelerate progress within disadvantaged groups.

SPP at Honington CEVCP School

We are aware that the military life experienced by our pupils has many wonderful aspects and presents them with a diverse range of opportunities and experiences. However, many pupils will, at some point during their schooling, struggle with an aspect of service life. This may be directly (eg. experiencing distress or concern when a parent is away on deployment) or indirectly (eg. through the disruption to friendship groups caused by high mobility).

Some of the issues service pupils can face include:

  • separation anxiety
  • maintaining friendships
  • gaps in learning due to frequent moves
  • social, emotional and mental health needs
  • transitions
  • SEND needs which require additional help
  • Delays in information transfer (between schools, Local Authorities etc.)

At Honington in excess of 60% of our pupils come from service families, which is unusual for a Suffolk Local Authority Maintained school.

The rationale behind our spending of the SPP is to ensure that the funding directly supports pupil wellbeing. Whilst aspects of our provision may not be directly relevant to a particular child at a specific point in time, the pupil may well come to need it in the future. For example, a child may not have to deal with any parental deployments one year, so doesn’t need Learning Mentor support, but may experience this and require support the next. By continuously providing this support we ensure the option is there whenever the need arises.

Further information on our approaches to supporting service pupils can be found here – SPP support approaches

Please click here to see our Service Pupil Premium Strategy Statement