Pupil Premium is additional funding given to all publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged children.
This additional funding is used by the school to address any underlying inequalities for eligible pupils by increasing social mobility, enabling pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve high academic standards and to close the attainment gap with the outcomes of those who are not eligible.
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, 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
This includes voluntary-sector alternative provision schools with local authority agreement.
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.
Read the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) pupil premium guide for information about the tiered approach to spending.
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
Schools can spend their pupil premium on pupils who do not meet the eligibility criteria but need extra support.
Schools can use the pupil premium to support other pupils, for example, if they:
- are in contact with a social worker
- used to be in contact with a social worker
- are acting as a carer
Schools must show how they’re using their pupil premium effectively:
The team at St Ethelbert's Catholic Primary School and Nursery is committed to eliminating the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers and the Pupil Premium is essential to this. Our motto is 'High Expectations for all, in the light of Christ' and we will aim for this for all our pupils.