What is the Pupil Premium?
The Pupil Premium is additional funding to help schools close the attainment gap between children from low-income and other disadvantaged families and their peers.
The Government believes that head teachers and school leaders should decide how to use the Pupil Premium. They are held accountable for the decisions they make through:
- the performance tables which show the performance of disadvantaged pupils compared with their peers
- the new Ofsted inspection framework, under which inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, in particular those who attract the Pupil Premium
- the new reports for parents on how the Pupil Premium is spent that schools now have to publish online
Who is the pupil premium for?
The Pupil Premium is aimed at Reception to Year 11 pupils who are from low-income families and are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM).
This category now includes any child that has been registered for FSM in the past 6 years (known as ‘Ever 6 FSM’).
The funding also covers children in care aged 4–15 who have been looked after continuously for more than 6 months. A service premium has also been introduced for children whose parents are serving in the armed forces.
How much is the Pupil Premium?
Nationally, the total Pupil Premium funding is set to increase from £625 million to £1.25 billion in 2012–13. It will rise again in 2014–15 to £2.5 billion. In 2013–14, the Pupil Premium will be allocated as:
- £900 per child eligible for FSM and per child identified as ‘Ever 6 FSM
How will schools know who is eligible?
The Pupil Premium is based on the number of FSM pupils, looked after children and children of service families on a school’s roll during the January school census day. For those children who are Ever 6 FSM, the Department for Education will pass on information to each school about the numbers of pupils eligible for this in February each year. This can be added to the number eligible for FSM to estimate the total number of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium within your school.
How are schools expected to use the Pupil Premium?
Schools are expected to use the funding to help close attainmentgaps for eligible pupils.
“So money, freedom, rewards. Take it; use it as you see fit. But know that you will be held accountable for what you achieve. Schools cannot just absorb this money and spend it on other things.” Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, May 2012
How will schools be held accountable?
However the Pupil Premium is spent, what is clear is that the benefits must be quantifiable. New measures have been included to capture the achievement of Pupil Premium pupils in the performance tables. Schools have to publish a statement for the previous year confirming Pupil Premium allocation, spend and the impact this had (See document below).