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Schools secure increased funding - thanks to Hoople!

Monday 23 January 2017 2.18pm

Hoople has helped Herefordshire primary schools to draw down more than £200,000 of additional funding for the period April 2017 - March 2018, thanks to its Pupil Premium Guarantee service. This is in addition to the ongoing  £200,000 for each of the two previous years (2014-15 and 2015-16) that has been secured for schools via this service. The total additional funding will be £600,000 annually until pupils leave school at age 16.

Pupil Premium funding is provided to schools by Government to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. The funding is in addition to the school’s underlying budget and is aimed at raising achievement levels and closing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. For the current financial year, schools will receive £1,320 per identified child, which they can spend in any way that  will best support the raising of attainment of the most vulnerable pupils.

Prior to September 2014, children eligible for the funding were easily identified as generally those who had applied to receive free school meals. However, as a result of the universal infant free school meals’ legislation introduced by the then coalition government from September 2014, it become more difficult for schools to identify eligible pupils. As a result, schools risked losing a significant amount of vital funding.

Having worked alongside schools for many years to process their free school meals’ applications, Hoople’s Revenues and Benefits team could see the implications of the new legislation. As a result, they developed the Pupil Premium Guarantee Service that has been so successful since its introduction in helping schools to access the funding to which they are entitled.

By signing up to Hoople’s Pupil Premium Guarantee service, participating schools can be confident that they are receiving pupil premium funding for all eliglble children in reception class to year 2. What’s more, once pupils have been registered as eligible for pupil premium funding, the school will continue to receive this for the remainder of the children’s education or school life.

In addition to the pupil premium grant, the school will also benefit from a further £1,520 per pupil under the government’s proposed national school funding formula  bringing in a total of an additional £2,840pa per eligible pupil.

Tracey Kneale, Head Teacher at Marlbrook school, says: “Hoople have been a tremendous help to us. Not only have they taken away the administrative burden of sourcing this stream of pupil premium funding, I can also feel confident that all the children in our school who are entitled to free school meals, and that extra money, are getting it.”

Sonia Lowther, Revenues and Development Operational Manager at Hoople, adds: “This is an amazing achievement and we are so pleased that we have helped schools to access the Pupil Premium funding they’re entitled to. Schools’ budgets are significantly under pressure and will be more so in the forthcoming years. I hope that other Herefordshire primary schools will be encouraged to join our scheme when they see the results we have achieved. We are also currently working on bespoke software for online applications and a way to help maximise all schools funding - so there are some exciting times ahead!”