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
The government has announced that pupil premium and service premium rates will remain unchanged for the financial year 2021 to 2022.
From April 2021, pupil premium allocations for mainstream and special schools will be calculated based on the number of eligible pupils recorded by schools in their census in October 2020.
Schools get pupil premium funding based on the number of pupils they have from the following groups.
Free school meals
Schools get £1,345 for every primary age pupil, or £955 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 £2,345 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.
The service premium is not part of the pupil premium as the rules to attract the service premium are different.
Schools get £310 for every pupil with a parent who:
- is serving in HM Forces
- has retired on a pension from the Ministry of Defence
This funding is to help with pastoral support.
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.
Local authority-maintained schools
- all mainstream infant, primary, middle, junior, secondary and all-through schools serving children aged 5 to 16
- schools for children with special educational needs or disabilities
- pupil referral units (PRUs), for children who do not go to a mainstream school
Academies and free schools
- all mainstream academies serving pupils aged 5 to 16
- academies for children with special educational needs or disabilities
- alternative provision (AP) academies, for children who do not go to a mainstream school