What is the Pupil Premium? The National Picture
The Pupil Premium was introduced by the Government in April 2011. It was designed to give additional money to support schools in raising the attainment of children who are eligible for free school meals and those children in local authority care. These groups of children have been identified nationally as achieving at a lower level than children from less disadvantaged backgrounds. For example, national figures show that 11 year olds who are eligible for Free School Meals are around twice as likely not to achieve age related expectations in maths and English as other 11 year olds.
It is described as follows: “the pupil premium is additional funding given to publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers
Where does the money come from?
Pupil Premium is allocated to schools based on the number of children who are currently known to be eligible for Free School Meals, and those who have been in receipt of Free School Meals at any time during the past six years (this does not include Universal Infant Free School Meals). Also included are children who have been looked after in local authority care.
Nationally, the level of the Pupil Premium in 2014-15 was £1300 per pupil. It increased slightly to £1320 per pupil in 2015-16. A lower premium is also in place for children whose parents are currently serving in the Armed Forces. The level of Pupil Premium for the financial year 2016-17 has remained the same as 2015 - 2016, and is as follows:
- £1320 per pupil who has been eligible for free school meals in any of the previous six years
- £1900 per looked after child
- £1900 per child adopted from care under the Adoption and Children Act 2002
- £300 per pupil whose parents have served in the armed forces within the last four years
The purpose of the Pupil Premium is to help schools to provide targeted support for vulnerable children- not necessarily just children who qualify for FSM.
“It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools per FSM pupil, is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.” Source - DfE website
The funding is therefore given to schools to spend as they think best, although there is a requirement to publish online how this money is spent and the impact.