The government believes that the pupil premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
The pupil premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years (known as ‘Ever 6 FSM’).
Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months, and children of service personnel.
Up to £50 million of the pupil premium will fund a Summer School Programme for disadvantaged pupils to support their transition to secondary schools in September 2013.
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 Ofsted inspection framework, under which inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, and in particular those who attract the pupil premium
- the reports for parents that schools have to publish online
In most cases the pupil premium is paid direct to schools, allocated to them for every pupil who receives free school meals. Schools decide how to use the funding, as they are best placed to assess what additional provision their pupils need.
Local authorities are responsible for looked after children and make payments to schools and academies where an eligible looked after child is on roll.
The Pupil Premium funding rose to £1.875 billion in 2013-14, with schools attracting £900 per disadvantaged child, with an additional payment of £53 for primary-aged pupils.
In 2014-15, the funding will rise to £2.5 billion, with £1300 for primary-aged pupils, £935 for secondary-aged pupils and £1900 for all looked after children, adopted children and children with guardians.
How Hornton Primary School Spends it Pupil Premium Funding
Much of the work that the teachers and teaching assistants do with pupil premium children is within the classroom, as part of groups, nurturing and intervention groups which enable us to target the particular academic and social/emotional needs of the pupils.
We aim to use our pupil premium income in the most effective way possible to supplement basic school funding. We continue to receive some specific funds for certain children with special educational needs. We monitor the progress of all of our pupils to help us decide how best to allocate our various funding streams.