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:
The pupil premium grant is designed to allow schools to help disadvantaged pupils by improving their progress and the exam results they achieve.
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.
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.
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:
This funding is to help with pastoral support.
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.
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:
Schools may find using the pupil premium in this way helps to:
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:
Schools must show how they’re using their pupil premium effectively:
Pupil premium: effective use and accountability contains information on how schools are held to account.
Pupil premium conditions of grant explains which pupils are eligible to attract the pupil premium to their school.
From 2021 to 2022 onwards, we will be basing pupil premium funding on the October census for mainstream and special schools. Pupil premium funding for the financial year starting on 1 April 2021 will therefore be based on the October 2020 census instead of the January census as would have previously been the case.
This change brings the pupil premium in line with how the rest of the core schools’ budget is calculated and will provide both schools and DfE with greater certainty around future funding levels earlier in the year.
Per pupil funding rates will be the same as in 2020 to 2021. Total pupil premium funding is expected to increase to more than £2.5 billion in 2021 to 2022 as more children have become eligible for free school meals as a result of the impact of the pandemic.
Pupil premium will continue to be based on ever 6 free school meals, whereby pupils recorded as eligible for free school meals at the time of the October census, or at any point in the previous 6 years, will attract pupil premium funding.
For 2021 to 2022, this means pupils having been recorded as eligible for free school meals at any point between January 2015 and October 2020.
Allocations for previously looked after children (post-looked-after children) will be based on the October census for mainstream and special schools.
There will be no change to the methodology for calculating allocations for looked-after children.
As before, ESFA will allocate a provisional amount per child looked after in June. That allocation will then be updated and finalised based on the children looked-after data return SSDA903.
Service children are not disadvantaged but share the pupil premium payment process. Service child premium allocations will be based on the October census for mainstream and special schools.
For 2021 to 2022, that means pupils recorded as eligible for the service child premium since the January 2015 census as well as those recorded as a service child for the first time on the October 2020 school census.
The next review of the school's pupil premium strategy will take place at the meeting of the Full Governing Body in the Autumn Term (dates to be set)