Covid Impact on Pupil Premium

The Impact of COVID has undoubtedly affected many aspects of the education sector, not least the financial impact that has been created for many schools.

By Syeda Rahman on 04 Aug 2021

The Impact of COVID has undoubtedly affected many aspects of the education sector, not least the financial impact that has been created for many schools. This year, instead of the basing it’s allocations on pupil eligible in January, as they have done in previous years, the Department for Education have used the data from Autumn /October Census to calculate the number of children eligible for pupil premium in the financial year 2021-22, this change was announced in December just before the Spring Census.

I have spoken to many Business Managers of large schools who have calculated a huge loss as a result and will be planning ahead on how affectively they can manage the school budget for 2021/22.

For many primary schools, due to the area they serve, pupil premium funding forms a sizeable chunk of the overall school budget. Schools are held accountable for how they spend their pupil premium so need to make sure that any pupil premium strategies or interventions they introduce are as effective as possible.

One of the key findings on the Rising Stars report on ‘The impact of School Closures in Spring 2021 Attainment’ (May 2021) is that children attending schools in more deprived areas showed greater declines in attainment than their peers.


The DfE generally makes two versions of the CSV file available to schools. The first version is available in July and the second around November. The file will be available on Key to Success via the Secure Access website.

The CSV file can then be imported into SIMS, we would recommend schools do this as part of their End of Year Procedure and maintain any new pupil premium data for all new entitlement and admissions after the Spring Census as they will not be included in the report. This data will then be up to date and ready to use for the next academic year.

Schools can then monitor their Pupil Premium data using School Report, Attendance Reports, Assessment and design adhoc reports in SIMS.

Now is a good time to think ahead and draw up strategies to target pupils who:

  • Are eligible for free school meals or have been eligible in the previous six years -
    FSM Ever 6
  • Have been looked after, or are covered by a guardianship or residency order
  • Have been adopted from care
  • Have a parent serving in the armed forces- Service Child Ever 6

Some of the strategies that can be used from the data and SIMS perspective are:

  • Collect and analyse data on groups and individual pupils, and monitor this over time
  • Identified the main barriers to learning for disadvantaged children, you can look at the attendance data against for pupils to determine whether this is impacting their learning. SIMS Discover analysis tools can be used to drill down to a particular group e.g. PP/ EAL or PP/SEN , by creating a dynamic group any pupils falling in and out of the group can be monitored in SIMS.
  • Put interventions in place when progress has slowed – you can monitor progress, through mark sheets in SIMS Assessments and data analysis in SIMS Discover.
  • Using Power Bi dashboards using the data from SIMS as illustrated below:


At One Education we offer hands on training on Pupil Premium, please keep a look out for the next training in Autumn Term. If you would like to discuss any of the information shared in this blog please feel free to contact our SIMS team via email ictsupport@oneeducation or telephone 0161 276 0101, we will be more than happy to hear from you.

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