Symondsbury Church of England VA Primary School

The Church of England

Pupil Premium

Free School Meals

Many of us will be affected by the current cost of living crisis.  We want to ensure families are aware of any benefits that may be available to support you at this time.

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2

Universal Infant Free School Meals are automatically offered to all pupils in reception, year one and year two. If you receive any of the following benefits, please complete the Pupil Premium application form: 

 Pupil premium - Dorset Council

This will secure extra funding for your school which can be used to support your child in school, or help with the cost of uniforms or trips.

The criteria for free school meals/pupil premium is as follows:

  • Income Support 
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit: if you're not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual gross income is no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit 'run-on' payment (paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Universal Credit: if your household income is less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Year 3 and above

Benefit related free school meals are available to pupils whose parents or carers meet any of the above criteria.

Please visit our webpage for further information and a quick and easy online application form: 

Apply for free school meals - Dorset Council

The eligibility checking service is confidential and the school won't see any specific information about your income or the benefits you receive.


 Free holiday activities
If your child qualifies for benefit-related free school meals, they also get access to free activities and nutritious food in the school holidays: Find out more  

If you have any questions, you can contact Dorset Council’s Free School Meals team on 01305 221090 or email for confidential advice and support.

At Symondsbury CE VA Primary School, we aim to ensure that teaching and learning opportunities meet the needs of all our pupils.

The Pupil Premium is a sum of money in the school’s budget based on the number of children who are looked after or who are entitled to free school meals.

The school had 14 Pupil Premium children (including looked after children but no service children) funded in FY 22/23. We have budgeted support for all at £1385 per pupil. This gives us a total budget of £23,520 to be spent directly on these pupils in FY 23/24.

According to the Government, "It is for schools and head teachers to decide how the Pupil Premium is spent since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupil within their responsibility". At Symondsbury we use a number of creative approaches when spending this money to enable our vulnerable pupils to make more progress and close the gap in attainment between pupils of low income families and those from more affluent families. At Symondsbury we believe that all pupils have the right to achieve the very best they can, irrespective of their family financial circumstances. We work tirelessly to ensure the best outcomes for all, and utilise Pupil Premium funds to achieve this.

Pupil Premium is used to part fund a number of key initiatives:

  • Providing uniform for pupils
  • Providing money towards residential visits
  • Providing money for swimming lessons
  • Providing additional teacher for small 1:1/small group literacy support
  • Providing sports clubs during and after school
  • Providing training, support and resources for Write Away + literacy
  • Providing training, support and resources for Speech + Language
  • Providing staff for 1:1
  • Providing training, support and resources for Numbers Count
  • Providing training, support and resources for Learn and move
  • Providing training, support and resources ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support)

This has contributed to:

  • excellent end of Key Stage results for identified pupils
  • noticeable improvements in pupil progress – closing the gap between performance of children who are eligible for pupil premium and those who are not
  • improved pupil confidence and self esteem
  • increased engagement in learning
  • improved attendance
  • increased extracurricular opportunities for pupils

End of KS2

Gap in the percentage of pupils achieving ARE+ (Non FSM - FSM)



School Gap

   (2019)     (2022)       (2023)


   +40%       +37%         -20%


   +30%       -63%         -50%


   -47%        -44%         -30%

Read/Write/Maths combined

   -27%        -44%         -70%



Recent research has shown us to be undertaking many aspects of best practice in all year groups in terms of what we are able to achieve with our Pupil Premium funding. 

We carefully monitor each class using formative and summative assessment to ensure that the gap between PP and non-PP is closed and action plans are swiftly put into place in order to achieve this.

For a more detailed breakdown of our Pupil Premium spending and impact, please click the following link:

Pupil Premium Statement 2023 - 2026