The Government gives Pupil Premium funding, which is additional to main school funding, as it believes it is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers.
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’).
The aim of this funding is to ensure that pupils eligible for pupil premium funding make as much progress in school as their peers.
Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months, and children of service personnel.
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:
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 the government believes that they are best placed to assess what additional provision their pupils need.
For pupils from low-income families in non-mainstream settings the local authority decides how to allocate the Pupil Premium. The authority must consult non-mainstream settings about how the Premium for these pupils should be used.