Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to support disadvantaged pupils and to help close the gap in attainment between them and their peers. The school receives a set amount per eligible child each academic year.

Schools decide how to spend the money as they are best placed to assess what additional provision is needed for each child.


Prior’s Court School is an independent special school for children and young people with autism, moderate to severe learning difficulties and complex needs. All of the students experience significant difficulties in communication and social interaction. Rigid, inflexible thought processes can create anxieties about the world around them. They require a high level of specialist educational and therapeutic support to achieve as independent a life as possible.

Pupils eligible for Pupil Premium may also have additional needs or require more support than others to improve their life chances.

Read our Pupil Premium policy


  • In the academic year 2019-20, we received £17,693 and spent £11,730 due to restrictions placed on external providers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • In the academic year 2020-21, we received £4,690 and spent £7,816.
  • In the academic year 2021-22, the predicted spend is £5,000

In the last 2 years Prior’s Court has seen a large reduction of Pupil Premium income as our Children Looked After in some Local Authorities are no longer able to access Pupil Premium. Therefore the majority of Pupil Premium income this year is allocated to individualised equipment.

The current remaining underspend from the effects of Covid-19 restrictions of £2,800 is allocated to the purchase of updating books for Reading for Pleasure, new African Hand Drums and a musician to drum with our young people.


In previous years, students eligible for Pupil Premium funding have been able to benefit from a range of different IT opportunities, which were not available to them previously. For example, the introduction of iPads and new communication technology offers support to those experiencing significant difficulties with communication and find the challenge of accessing work in the classroom difficult.

The Pupil Premium for 2019-20 academic year has continued to enable us to identify ‘focus packages’ that are able to be over and above the students’ statement of needs to enhance their learning and narrow the gap. Through our education and therapy services we are able to provide additional therapy sessions such as those listed below.

During the Covid=19 pandemic, some of the external sessions were postponed for a significant period of time, and there were some interrupted sessions during times of national lockdown. We, therefore, increased our Literacy Support.

Below is a list of some examples of use of Pupil Premium at Prior's Court:

  • Literacy Support - increased our support for individuals with their literacy skills. This has included the purchase of new Reading Schemes, updated special interest books, access to an Advisory Teacher for class teachers and tutors, specialist one-to-one and group sessions and training.
  • Deep pressure therapy - has been shown to help people with sensory processing disorders to assist with their emotional and sensory regulation, resulting in a calmer, alert state leading to improved attention and concentration.
  • Music Therapy - Occupational Therapists and Music Therapists work together to explore emotional reasoning behind behaviours working in a creative, non-verbal medium which is much better suited to many pupils.
  • IT/Communication equipment - high tech communication aids such as GRID 2 and Proloquo2go used through iPads and iPad minis alongside established communication methods to further enhance communication.
  • Horseriding – strengthens core muscles, improves posture, aids in control of movement, provides opportunities to practice and learn new motor skills and develops sensory needs.
  • Dance and movement therapy - improves social skills and communication, increases body awareness, encourages eye contact, enhances self-awareness, spacial awareness and improves motor deficits.
  • LEGO therapy - takes advantage of the inherently rewarding nature of LEGO activities and promotes collaborative building, fine motor skills, social skills.
  • Drumming – group workshops which build collaborative working, being part of a team and partaking in performance.
  • Trampolining/rebound therapy - of enormous benefit for young people with autism as it not only supports a healthy lifestyle but helps to develop a range of different physical skills including core strength, coordination and different gross motor skills.
  • The Listening Program - is a focused package of care which uses filtered music through headphones to support improvement in sensory processing, motor function and emotional well-being.
  • Climbing - develop appropriate behaviour around climbing as well as develop, gross motor skills, core stamina and overall fitness.
  • Sailing – supports a healthy lifestyle, develops a range of physical and social skills, and supports sensory needs. Develops safety skills around water.
  • Specific equipment – young people are able to access specific equipment that can support their individual needs, these have included exercise equipment, bikes and specific furniture to support posture.

Next steps

Our aim is to continue to identify the individual needs of the students who qualify for Pupil Premium and to support their development through IT, accessing the community and therapeutic programmes, along with Specialist Literacy input.

For more information on the Pupil Premium, please visit the Department of Education website.

Please note, students at Prior’s Court School are not in receipt of Sports Premium and Year 7 Literacy and Numeracy catch-up funding.

Learn more about Prior's Court School