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.
The following groups are eligible for pupil premium:
- pupils who are recorded as eligible for free school meals, or have been recorded as eligible in the past 6 years, including eligible children of families who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
- children looked after by local authorities, referred to as looked-after children
- children previously looked after by a local authority or other state care, referred to as previously looked-after children
Funding rates for financial year 2023-24
This table shows how the pupil premium grant is allocated to schools and local authorities in financial year 2023-24, based on per pupil rates.
|Pupil eligibility criteria
|Amount of funding for each primary-aged pupil per year
|Funding is paid to
|Pupils who are eligible for free school meals, or have been eligible in the past 6 years
|Pupils previously looked after by a local authority or other state care
The government has permanently extended free school meal (FSM) eligibility to include children in all households with NRPF. These pupils should now be recorded as FSM eligible in the school census and their pupil premium eligibility will follow on from that automatically.
From 1 April 2023, pupil premium eligibility for pupils who have been adopted from care or have left care will include children adopted from state care or equivalent from outside England and Wales.
Payment schedule for financial year 2023-24
Payments will be sent to local authorities on:
- 30 June 2023
- 29 September 2023
- 29 December 2023
- 28 March 2024
Service pupil premium
Service pupil premium is additional funding for schools with pupils who have parents serving in the armed forces. It has been combined into pupil premium payments to make it easier for schools to manage their spending.
Pupils in state-funded schools in England attract the service pupil premium grant, at the rate of £335 per eligible pupil in financial year 2023-24, if they meet one or more of the following criteria:
- one of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces, including pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the full-time reserve service - this includes pupils with a parent who is in the armed forces of another nation and is stationed in England
- registered as a ‘service child’ on any school census in the past 6 years
- one of their parents died while serving in the armed forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme
This funding is primarily to enable schools to offer pastoral support and help mitigate the negative impact of family mobility or parental deployment. It can also be used to help improve the academic progress of eligible pupils if the school deems this to be a priority.
Funding paid to schools
To ensure that pupil premium is focused on effective approaches to raising the educational attainment of disadvantaged pupils, schools must use their pupil premium in line with the ‘menu of approaches’ set by the Department for Education.
The menu has been developed in line with the EEF’s 3-tiered approach to help school allocate spending across the following 3 areas:
- supporting the high-quality teaching, such as staff professional development
- providing targeted academic support, such as tutoring, including through the National Tutoring Programme
- tackling non-academic barriers to academic success, such as difficulties in attendance, behaviour and social and emotional wellbeing
In line with the EEF’s recommended approach, schools should prioritise high-quality teaching, though the exact balance of spending between tiers will vary depending on the specific needs of pupils.
Pupil premium is not a personal budget for individual pupils, and schools do not have to spend pupil premium so that it solely benefits eligible pupils.
Pupil premium can be used to support other pupils with identified needs, such as pupils who have or have had a social worker, or pupils who act as a carer. It can also be used for whole class interventions, for example high-quality teaching, which will also benefit non-disadvantaged pupils.
High attaining eligible pupils should receive just as much focus as lower attaining eligible pupils when it comes to spending funding. Evidence shows that eligible pupils who are among the highest performers at key stage 2 are more likely than their non-eligible peers to fall behind by key stage 4.
Funding for looked-after children
Virtual school heads are responsible for managing the funding given to local authorities for the children in their care. They work with schools to ensure the funding is used to help deliver the outcomes identified in the children’s personal education plans.
They can pass all the funding on to schools or retain some to fund activities that will benefit a group of, or all, the authority’s looked-after children.
Schools must show how they are using their pupil premium effectively:
- by publishing a statement on their website which presents an overview of their pupil premium strategy, and demonstrates that their use of the funding meets the requirements of the conditions of grant
- through inspections by Ofsted - inspectors may discuss plans schools have to spend their pupil premium
- through scrutiny of pupil premium plans by governors and trustees
Schools are also held to account for the outcomes achieved by their disadvantaged pupils through published performance tables.
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.