What is Pupil Premium and why does the Government focus on it?
- 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.
- In most cases the Pupil Premium is allocated to schools and is clearly identifiable. It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools per FSM pupil, is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.
- For pupils from low-income families in non-mainstream settings, it is for the local authority to decide how to allocate the Pupil Premium. For instance it could be allocated to the setting where they are being educated, or held by the local authority to spend specifically on additional educational support to raise the standard of attainment for these pupils. The authority must consult non-mainstream settings about how the Premium for these pupils should be used.
- 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. New measures will be included in the performance tables that will capture the achievement of those deprived pupils covered by the Pupil Premium. Since September 2012, schools are also required to publish online information about how they have used the Premium. This will ensure that parents and others are made fully aware of the attainment of pupils covered by the Premium.
- We will also provide schools with information about strategies and interventions which can improve the progress and attainment of pupils from poorer backgrounds.