Publicly-funded schools in England get extra funding from the government to help them improve the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.
Evidence shows that children from disadvantaged backgrounds:
generally face extra challenges in reaching their potential at school
often do not perform as well as their peers
The pupil premium grant is designed to allow schools to help disadvantaged pupils by improving their progress and the exam results they achieve.
Eligibility and Funding
Schools get pupil premium funding based on the number of pupils they have in January each year from the following groups.
Free school meals
Schools get £1,455 for every primary age pupil, or £1035 for every secondary age pupil, who claims free school meals, or who has claimed free school meals in the last 6 years.
Looked-after and previously looked-after children
Schools get £2,530 for every pupil who has left local authority care through adoption, a special guardianship order or child arrangements order. Local authorities get the same amount for each child they are looking after; they must work with the school to decide how the money is used to support the child’s Personal Education Plan.
Academically able pupils
The pupil premium is not based on ability. Research shows that the most academically able pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are most at risk of under-performing. Schools should focus on these pupils just as much as pupils with low results.
Use of the pupil premium
It’s up to school leaders to decide how to spend the pupil premium. This is because school leaders are best-placed to assess their pupils’ needs and use funding to improve attainment.
Evidence suggests that pupil premium spending is most effective when schools use a tiered approach, targeting spending across the following 3 areas below but focusing on teaching quality - investing in learning and development for teachers.
Schools arrange training and professional development for all the their staff to improve the impact of teaching and learning for pupils.
Schools should decide on the main issues stopping their pupils from succeeding at school and use the pupil premium to buy extra help.
This may include non-academic use of the pupil premium such as:
school breakfast clubs
music lessons for disadvantaged pupils
help with the cost of educational trips or visits speech and language therapy
Schools may find using the pupil premium in this way helps to:
increase pupils’ confidence and resilience
encourage pupils to be more aspirational
benefit non-eligible pupils