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Pupil premium funding

What is pupil premium?

The pupil premium grant is funding to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils in state-funded schools in England. The grant also provides support for children and young people with parents in the regular armed forces, referred to as service pupil premium (SPP).

Funding criteria

Pupil premium funding is allocated to eligible schools based on the number of:

  • pupils who are recorded as eligible for free school meals, or have been recorded as eligible in the past 6 years (referred to as Ever 6 FSM)

  • children previously looked after by a local authority or other state care, including children adopted from state care or equivalent from outside England and Wales


Pupil premium is not a personal budget for individual pupils, and schools do not have to spend pupil premium so that it solely benefits pupils who meet the funding criteria. It can be used:

  • to support other pupils with identified needs, such as those who have or have had a social worker, or who act as a carer

  • for whole class interventions which will also benefit non-disadvantaged pupils

To ensure that pupil premium is focused on effective approaches to raising the educational attainment of disadvantaged pupils, schools must spend their pupil premium grant (excluding SPP) on evidence-informed activities in line with the ‘menu of approaches’ set by the Department for Education (DfE).

The menu aligns with the EEF’s 3-tiered approach, which helps schools allocate spending across the following areas:

  • developing high-quality teaching, for example through professional development and recruitment and retention

  • providing targeted academic support, such as one-to-one or small group tuition

  • tackling non-academic barriers to academic success, such as difficulties with attendance, behaviour and social and emotional wellbeing


Schools must show how they are using their pupil premium effectively:


  • by publishing a statement on their website each academic year using the DfE template

  • through inspections by Ofsted – inspectors may discuss plans schools have to spend their pupil premium

  • through scrutiny of pupil premium plans by governors and trustees