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.
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:
How schools present the information in their online statement is a matter for each school. There is certain information that must be in the report: the school’s pupil premium allocation in respect of the current academic year; details of how it is intended that the allocation will be spent; details of how the previous academic year’s allocation was spent, and the impact of this expenditure on the educational attainment of those pupils at the school, in respect of whom grant funding was allocated.
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 they are best placed to assess what additional provision their pupils need.
Local authorities are responsible for looked after children and make payments to schools and academies where an eligible looked after child is on roll.