Pupil Premium is additional to main school funding and the government feels that this is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers. The funding is to tackle disadvantage and is targeted towards the pupils that need it most.
Pupil Premium is allocated to schools and is clearly identifiable. It is for schools to decide how it is spent since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.
Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However they will be accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support pupils from low income families.
The Pupil Premium is allocated to children from low-income families who are currently known to be eligible for FSM in both mainstream and non-mainstream settings and children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months.
Total funding will increase from £625m in 2011-12 to £1.25bn in 2012-13.
The level of the pupil premium in 2011-12 was £488 per pupil for pupils eligible for FSM and for pupils in care who have been continuously looked after for six months. It later increased to £600 per pupil in 2012-13.
The government has decided that eligibility for the Pupil Premium in 2013-14 will be extended to pupils who have been eligible for FSM at any point in the last 6 years and the allocated amount was £900 per pupil.
In 2014 Pupil Premium amounts increased to £1300 per pupil and £1900 for a Looked After Child, in 2015 the amount allocated per child increased slightly again to £1,320.
Financial year 2016 to 2017
In the 2016 to 2017 financial year, schools receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years:
£1,320 for pupils in reception year to year 6