Pupil Premium

What is the Pupil Premium?

The pupil premium grant refers to the extra funding, publicly-funded schools in England, receive from the government in order to help them improve the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.

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 achievement at school.

Which pupils are identified as disadvantaged?

The government define pupils as disadvantaged if they fit one or more of the descriptors below:

  • they are in receipt of free school meals or has been at any point in the last 6 years
  • they have left local authority care through adoption, a special guardianship or child arrangement order (referred to as previously looked-after)
  • they are in local authority care (referred to as looked-after). In this case, the local authority receive the funding and work with the school to decide on how it is best spent to support individual pupils

How much funding does the school receive?

Schools receive funding based on the number of eligible pupils. This is calculated at a specific point each academic year. The amount that schools receive is as follows:

  • Free school meals: £1,345 per pupil
  • Previously looked-after: £2,345 per pupil
  • Looked-after: £2,345 per pupil

What should schools spend their funding on?

Schools have the ability to decide how their pupil premium funding is used in order to improve the attainment and progress of their disadvantaged pupils. The funding can also be used to support pupils who do not meet the criteria for being disadvantaged.

The government recommend that schools take a tiered approach to spending the grant as research shows that this is the most effective way of ensuring improved outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. The three core tiers for schools to target when deciding how best to spend the pupil premium are:


Schools arrange training and professional development for all their staff to improve the impact of teaching and learning for pupils.

Academic support

Schools should decide on the main issues stopping their pupils from succeeding at school and use the pupil premium to buy extra help.

Wider approaches

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

In addition, from September 2021, schools will also be required to demonstrate how they have used research evidence to inform their spending plans.

The Pupil Premium Statement

Local authority-maintained schools must publish a pupil premium statement on their school’s website (online statement). This is so that schools can be transparent about how they are spending the pupil premium both for school governors and parents and guardians. Schools are required to publish their online statement using the Pupil premium strategy statement templates published by the DfE. The DfE also now recommend that schools take a longer-term (for example, over a 3 year period) view to how they spend their pupil premium allocation in order to ensure impact and sustainability.