Pupil Premium is the name given to additional funding allocated to schools to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers. It is generally allocated to pupils who are known to be eligible for Free School Meals (FSM), to children recently in the looked-after care system and to the children of service families.
During 2016 – 2017 all state primary schools received £1,300 for each pupil eligible for FSM or £1,900 for other pupils eligible for Pupil Premium (LAC). There was also an additional £300 allocation for each child from a service family.
Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. This could be for identified purposes within the school but can also include spending related to community facilities, such as services that benefit pupils at the school or their families, or people who live or work in the locality in which the school is situated. The grant does not have to be completely spent by schools in the financial year; some or all of it may be carried forward to future financial years. The school must allocate the funding effectively in order to make most efficient use of the money. This will often include funding joint activities or access to services involving non-Pupil Premium pupils. However, schools will be held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families and are required to show that they are using the funding to “close the gap” between those eligible for Pupil Premium and their peers and the impact of their spending.
(DfE Guidance: Pupil Premium Grant 2016-2017; conditions of grant)