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How much is the Pupil Premium worth?

The Pupil Premium is additional funding provided to publicly-funded schools in England with the aim of raising the attainment of disadvantaged children. In 2020-21, £2.44 billion of Pupil Premium funding (including service premium) was allocated in respect of around 2 million pupils.

Which pupils attract Pupil Premium?

In 2021-22, funding is being allocated as follows:

  • Disadvantaged pupils: children recorded in the school census as eligible for free school meals (FSMs) at any point in the last six years (referred to as Ever 6 FSM). £1,345 is being allocated for each primary pupil; £955 was allocated for each such pupil in years 7 to 11.
  • Looked after and previously looked after children: £2,345 for each child currently looked after by an English local authority, or who left the care of a local authority in England or Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order, or a residence order (sometimes referred to as Pupil Premium Plus).
  • Service children: a Service Premium of £310 per eligible pupil paid in respect of children who have been recorded as having a parent serving in the regular armed forces in any school census in the last six years (referred to as Ever 6 service children). It is also paid in respect of children in receipt of a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme after their parent died or was injured while serving in the armed forces.

For a pupil to attract Pupil Premium funding for disadvantaged children, their parent or carer must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit and have made a request for free school meals. It has been estimated that approximately 10% of those eligible do not register for free school meals and, as a result, schools are not attracting all the Pupil Premium funding they are entitled to.

The Pupil Premium Grant is separate from the Dedicated Schools Grant (the main source of revenue funding for schools). As such, it is generally unaffected by the introduction of a National Funding Formula for schools. However, the National Funding Formula does not include a looked-after-children factor; instead, since the introduction of the formula in 2018‑19 all additional school funding for looked after and previously looked after children has been targeted through the Pupil Premium Plus.

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