What is Pupil Premium?
The pupil premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers. Introduced in April 2011, the pupil premium is allocated to children who are looked after by the local authority, those who have been eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) at any point in the last six years (also known as Ever 6 FSM) and for children whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces. From April 2014 children who are looked after attract a higher rate of funding than children from low-income families - the ‘Pupil Premium Plus’. This is to reflect the unique challenges they face at school where they often struggle to keep up with their peers at both primary and secondary level.
Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However, they will be held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families. The main purpose of the grant is to diminish the difference between Pupil Premium pupils and Non-Pupil Premium pupils.
Information from The Government:
The Secretary of State for Education lays down the following terms and conditions on which assistance is given in relation to the pupil premium grant (PPG) payable to local authorities for the financial year beginning 1 April 2021.
PPG provides funding for two separate policies:
- raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities to reach their potential
- supporting children and young people with parents in the regular armed forces
2. Rates for eligible pupils
The PPG per-pupil rate for 2021 to 2022 is as follows:
|Disadvantaged pupils||Pupil premium per pupil|
|Pupils in year groups reception to year 6 recorded as Ever 6 free school meals (FSM) as well as eligible children with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) pupils in these year groups||£1,345|
|Pupils in years 7 to 11 recorded as Ever 6 FSM as well as eligible NRPF pupils in these year groups||£955|
|Looked-after children (LAC) defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority||£2,345|
|Children who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, or child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order)||£2,345|
|Service children||Service premium per pupil|
|Pupils in year groups reception to year 11 recorded as Ever 6 service child or in receipt of a child pension from the Ministry of Defence||£310|
3.1 Ever 6 free school meals children
For mainstream and special schools, the pupil premium for 2021 to 2022 will include pupils recorded in the October 2020 school census who have had a recorded period of FSM eligibility since January 2015, as well as those first recorded as eligible at October 2020.
For pupil referral units, the pupil premium for 2021 to 2022 will include pupils recorded in the January 2021 school census who have had a recorded period of FSM eligibility since May 2015, as well as those first recorded as eligible at January 2021.
For the purposes of these grant conditions, these pupils are collectively referred to as Ever 6 FSM.
3.2 Children with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
For 2021 to 2022, pupil premium eligibility is being extended to pupils eligible for free school meals under the temporary extension set out in the coronavirus (covid-19): temporary extension of free school meals eligibility to NRPF groups guidance. As these pupils are not registered as eligible in the school census, eligible schools will need to make a claim for additional pupil premium funding for these pupils. Further details on the claims process for these pupils will be published in due course.
3.3 Children adopted from care or who have left care
For mainstream and special schools, the pupil premium for 2021 to 2022 will include pupils recorded in the October 2020 school census, who were looked after by an English or Welsh local authority immediately before being adopted, or who left local authority care on a special guardianship order or child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order). These are collectively referred to as post-LAC in these conditions of grant.
For pupil referral units, the pupil premium for 2021 to 2022 will include post-LAC pupils recorded in the January 2021 school census.
3.4 Ever 6 service children
For mainstream and special schools, the service premium for 2021 to 2022 will include pupils recorded in the October 2020 school census who have been eligible for the service child premium at any point since the January 2015 census as well as those recorded as a service child for the first time in the October 2020 school census.
For pupil referral units, the service premium for 2021 to 2022 will include these pupils, as well as those recorded as a service child for the first time in the January 2021 school.
For the purposes of these grant conditions, these pupils are collectively referred to as Ever 6 service children. Service children are not regarded as disadvantaged; their premium is allocated for pastoral support purposes.
4. Allocations to schools
For mainstream schools, special schools and pupil referral units, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will allocate PPG to local authorities the following amounts:
- £1,345 per pupil for each Ever 6 FSM FTE pupil and each eligible NRPF FTE pupil, aged 4 and over in year groups reception to year 6, except where the pupil is allocated the LAC or post-LAC premium
- £955 per pupil for each Ever 6 FSM FTE and each eligible NRPF FTE pupil, in year groups 7 to 11, except where the pupil is allocated the LAC or post-LAC premium
- £2,345 per pupil for each post-LAC in year groups reception to year 11
- £310 for each pupil aged 4 and over in year groups reception to year 11 who is either Ever 6 service child FTE or in receipt of pensions under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and the War Pensions Scheme (WPS)
At each school they maintain, local authorities must allocate these amounts for each FTE pupil on the October 2020 school census for mainstream and special schools, and on the January 2021 school for pupil referral units.
PPG will be allocated on the basis of sole and dual main registrations only.
Where national curriculum year groups do not apply to a pupil, the pupil will attract PPG if aged 4 to 15 as recorded in the October 2020 school census for mainstream and special schools, and in the January 2021 school census for pupil referral units.
5. Maintained schools converting to academies
Schools that are academies on 1 April 2021 will receive their PPG directly from ESFA.
Local authorities should pay PPG to schools due to convert to academy status as follows:
|Date of conversion to academy||Proportion of PPG paid by local authority|
|On or by 1 September 2021||Five twelfths of their annual allocation|
|After 1 September 2021 and on or by 1 January 2022||Nine twelfths of their annual allocation|
|After 1 January 2021||Their full allocation|
We will adjust the local authorities PPG allocation to reflect these conversions, and we will pay the remaining allocation directly to the academy.
Schools federated, or to be federated, under the provisions of section 24 of the Education Act 2002, during the financial year beginning 1 April 2021 shall have grant allocated to them as if they were not federated. Local authorities must make the grant available to their schools irrespective of any deficit relating to the expenditure of the school’s budget share. PPG is not part of schools’ budget shares and is not part of the individual schools budget. It is not to be counted for the purpose of calculating the minimum funding guarantee.
6. Terms on which PPG is allocated to schools
The grant may be spent in the following ways:
- for the purposes of the school; that is, for the educational benefit of pupils registered at that school
- for the benefit of pupils registered at other maintained schools or academies
- on community services whose provision furthers the benefit of pupils at the school
The grant does not have to be completely spent by schools in the financial year beginning 1 April 2021; some or all of it may be carried forward to future financial years. Any funding that is carried forward must be spent according to the conditions in this document.
7. Use of evidence
From academic year 2021 to 2022, schools must demonstrate how their spending decisions are informed by research evidence, making reference to a range of sources including the Education Endowment Foundation’s toolkit. In line with the EEF’s pupil premium guide, activities should include those that:
- support the quality of teaching, such as staff professional development;
- provide targeted academic support, such as tutoring; and
- tackle non-academic barriers to success in school, such as attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support.
To comply with School Information regulations, maintained schools are required to publish an updated pupil premium strategy annually. All schools must use the templates available on GOV.UK to publish their 2021 to 2022 pupil premium strategy, by the end of December 2021. The Department for Education will undertake monitoring checks on a sample of schools’ published reports.
Given their role in ensuring schools spend funding appropriately and in holding schools to account for educational performance, governors and trustees should scrutinise schools’ plans, including their plans for and use of their pupil premium funding. Schools are held accountable for the outcomes they achieve with all their funding, including through Ofsted inspections and by governors and trustees, and this will be no exception.
9. Pupil numbers used to calculate PPG
ESFA will calculate the allocation using:
- the number of Ever 6 FSM pupils (not eligible for the LAC and post-LAC premium)
- post-LAC pupils
- Ever 6 Service child FTE pupils aged 4 and over in year groups reception to year 11
The LAC numbers will be updated in December 2021 as stated below. This means that some schools could see a small reduction in the number of Ever 6 FSM pupils counted for their pupil premium allocation, if the pupil is identified as LAC in the update. In these cases the schools concerned would see a reduction in their pupil premium allocation.
For new mainstream and special schools that opened after October 2020, we will use the October 2021 school census. For new mainstream and special schools that open after the October 2021 census, we will use data from the January 2022 school census.
For pupils with no recourse to public funds, pupil numbers will be calculated based on claims received through the upcoming claims process.
We will also use the January 2022 school census for pupil referral units, opened after the January 2021 school census.
In each case, the allocation will be prorated to the proportion of the 2021 to 2022 financial year that the school is open.
Where a new school is not fully established, and at the start of the autumn term 2021, the school has been open for fewer years than the number of year groups in the school, then the school’s allocation will be revised in March 2022.
For mainstream and special schools, the revised allocation will apply the rates set out below to the increase in eligible pupils between the October 2020 and the October 2021 school census. The increase will be prorated by seven twelfths to reflect that the additional year groups have been in place for seven months of the financial year.
10. New schools and schools that close
New schools that open in the 2021 to 2022 financial year will receive PPG for the proportion of the financial year for which they are open.
If a school closes during the financial year, the local authority should allocate PPG for the proportion of the financial year the school was open.
Where a school receives pupils from schools that close or as a result of school merger, the local authority should allocate the same grant that it would have allocated to the schools that closed or merged for the remainder of the financial year. Local authorities should agree the amount a new school receives from schools that close.
11. Alternative Provision
ESFA allocates PPG to each local authority for Ever 6 FSM, Ever 6 service child and post-LAC pupils in general hospital schools and in alternative provision settings not maintained by the local authority but where the local authority pays full tuition fees. This does not include non-maintained special schools, who will receive PPG direct from ESFA.
Local authorities may allocate PPG to alternative provision settings or use the grant to spend specifically on additional educational support to raise the standard of attainment for the eligible pupils and eligible service children. Local authorities must consult the non-mainstream settings about how local authorities use PPG to support children educated in non-mainstream settings.
For non-mainstream schools that complete the school level annual school census (SLASC), rather than the main school census, pupil premium will be based on the number of FTE pupils recorded as FSM in the January 2021 SLASC.
12. Looked-after children (LAC)
ESFA will allocate to local authorities in June 2021 a provisional amount of £2,345 per child looked after for at least one day, as recorded in the March 2020 children looked-after data return (SSDA903), and aged 4 to 15 at 31 August 2019.
We will update and finalise this allocation in December 2021 based on the number of children looked after for at least one day during the year ending March 2021, as recorded in the March 2021 children looked-after data return (SSDA903), and aged 4 to 15 at 31 August 2020. Where a looked-after pupil has previously been recorded as claiming free school meals this update may have an impact on some schools’ allocations as set out above.
13. Use of the LAC premium
The LAC premium must be managed by the designated virtual school head (VSH) in the local authority that looks after the child, and used without delay for the benefit of the looked-after child’s educational needs as described in their personal education plan.
The VSH should ensure there are arrangements in place to discuss how the child will benefit from pupil premium funding with the designated teacher or another member of staff in the child’s education setting who best understands their needs. Processes for allocating funds to a child’s education setting should be as simple as possible to avoid delay.
Local authorities may not carry forward funding held centrally into the financial year 2022 to 2023. Centrally-held LAC premium that has not been spent, or allocated to the child’s education setting, by 31 March 2022 will be recovered.
14. Allocation and payment arrangements
We will confirm PPG allocations in June 2021, once pupil number data from the October 2020 and January 2021 census has been validated and agreed.
We will pay PPG to local authorities in quarterly instalments by:
- 30 June 2021
- 30 September 2021
- 31 December 2021
- 31 March 2022
Local authorities will be required to certify that they have passed on the correct amount of funding to schools or, where funding has been spent centrally, that it has been spent in line with these conditions of grant. We will issue a certification form in April 2022.
The basis for allocation of grant may be varied by the Secretary of State from those set out above, if so requested by the school or local authority.
17. Other terms
If the authority or a school fails to comply with the terms set out in the paragraphs above, the Secretary of State may withhold the whole or any part of subsequent instalments of the premium paid to the authority or school.
This will be notified in writing to the authority or school and any such sum that has been notified shall be withheld from subsequent instalments of the premium.
Any overpayment of PPG shall be repaid by the school or local authority.
19. Further information
Books and other documents and records relating to the recipient’s accounts shall be open to inspection by the Secretary of State and by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The Comptroller and Auditor General may, under Section 6 of the National Audit Act 1983, carry out examinations into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the recipient has used its resources in discharging its grant-aided activities.
Schools and local authorities shall provide information as may be required by the Secretary of State to determine whether it has complied with these conditions.
Failure to provide this information may result in the Secretary of State withholding subsequent instalments of the premium.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-conditions-of-grant-2018-to-2019/pupil-premium-2018-to-2019-conditions-of-grant
Information about our Pupil Premium Spending
Review of Pupil Premium Spending for 2017/18 academic year is downloadable here: Pupil Premium Strategy 2017-18 Final Review.pdf
We follow research based advice from the Education Endowment Foundation guidance for Pupil Premium Spending:
What Schools should publish online about the Pupil Premium: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/what-maintained-schools-must-publish-online#pupil-premium
You may wish to plan your pupil premium use over 3 years. You should aim to update the online strategy statement by the end of the autumn term each year to reflect your plans for the academic year after assessing the needs of your pupils, both new and existing.
For the current academic year, you must include:
- your school’s pupil premium grant allocation amount
- a summary of the main barriers to educational achievement faced by eligible pupils at the school
- how you’ll spend the pupil premium to overcome those barriers and the reasons for that approach
- how you’ll measure the effect of the pupil premium
- the date of the next review of the school’s pupil premium strategy
For the previous academic year, you must include:
- how you spent the pupil premium allocation
- the effect of the expenditure on pupils
We understand that evaluating the pupil premium’s impact in the 2019 to 2020 academic year will present difficulties as a result of reduced numbers of pupils having attended between March and July 2020.
Instead, schools may wish to monitor and report on the grant’s impact at the end of the current financial year, bearing in mind their duty to update this information at least annually, covering the whole period since September 2019.