In this section you will find information on:
- The LAC premium
- The Suffolk Virtual School PPG funding model
- Using the LAC premium: best practice guidance
- Early Years Pupil Premium
- Frequently asked questions relating to LAC premium allocation and payment processes
The LAC premium
Children who are in local authority care in national curriculum years Reception to 11 attract Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) funding, also known as the LAC premium or pupil premium plus. This funding is provided for the government policy of raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities to reach their potential.
Funding for pupils in care goes to the Virtual School Head (VSH) in the local authority that looks after the child. VSHs are responsible for managing the LAC premium and using it for the benefit of the pupil’s educational needs as described in their Personal Education Plan (PEP). There is no automatic entitlement for the school to receive this funding for eligible pupils and the VSH can pool funds or retain a portion of the full amount under the conditions of grant. The VSHs in most authorities retain a portion and use this in a variety of ways to support children to achieve good outcomes.
Pupil Premium Conditions of Grant 2023 to 24
The Suffolk Virtual School Head manages the PPG for children in the care of Suffolk County Council. The PPG for children in the care of other local authorities is managed by the Virtual School Head in those authorities. Please contact the relevant Virtual School for details of their process.
The post-LAC premium for children who have been adopted from care, or moved from care to a special guardianship order or child arrangements order is not managed by the Virtual School Head, but goes directly to schools. Please visit the section Previously looked after children for more information on PPG funding for these pupils.
The Suffolk Virtual School PPG funding model
The full amount for the financial year 2023 to 24 is £2,530 per child in care. In Suffolk, an allocation will be paid termly to schools, linked to the Virtual School's moderation of a sufficient termly PEP for eligible pupils. Any remaining funding is managed directly by the Suffolk Virtual School Head to support children with greater levels of need or where interventions can be obtained more cost-effectively by commissioning in bulk.
In the 2023 to 24 financial year, Suffolk’s VSH will be managing the grant using the following principles:
- All the Pupil Premium Grant will be spent to enhance the education, learning and outcomes of children in the care of Suffolk.
- The grant will be passed on to any educational setting where the designated teacher for Suffolk pupils in care provides the Virtual School with termly Personal Education Plans which contain progress information and evidence of effective intervention illustrating how the funding is being used;
- Children who are in the care of Suffolk County Council and on roll on the first day of term will be eligible for pupil premium for that term;
- Where a pupil in the care of Suffolk County Council joins a school, or becomes looked after, part way through the term, a judgement will be made on a case by case basis by the Virtual School Head as to whether a payment can be made for that term;
- Termly PPG allocations are currently set at payments of up to £600 per eligible pupil;
- Educational settings may apply for additional funding. This could be for the benefit of an individual or group of Children in Care. All applications will be considered, with payments made if the request is approved by the VSH. Please contact the Virtual School for further discussion.
- Schools may also be allocated an additional sum per eligible child in the Spring term if there is any of the centrally retained portion of the grant remaining unspent.
It is important to stress that the LAC premium does not remove the responsibility of schools and their staff to monitor progress of children in care, intervene where appropriate and assess the effectiveness of intervention. It is to provide additional support, not to subsidise the entitlement every pupil on the school roll enjoys. Equally, it should not subsidise the entitlements children have as set out in the SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years, published in June 2014.
Using the LAC premium: best practice guidance
There are many best practice reports available including How Schools are spending the funding (Ofsted) and Evaluation of Pupil Premium Research Report July 2013.
The Education Endowment Foundation Toolkit is also very useful in helping to identify strategies that are most effective and has been used to identify the preferred interventions found in the Suffolk PEP.
Early Years Pupil Premium
Eligibility for the Early Years Pupil Premium is different for early years settings than for schools and is paid at a different rate. Read details from the Early years pupil premium: guide for local authorities.
See how Suffolk County Council implements the Early Years Pupil Premium for children in care.
Suffolk's Family Information Service can provide further information. Call 0345 60 800 33 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.