Publicly-funded schools in England get extra funding from the government to help them improve the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.
Evidence shows that children from disadvantaged backgrounds:
- generally face extra challenges in reaching their potential at school
- often do not perform as well as their peers
Eligibility and funding
Schools get pupil premium funding based on the number of pupils they have in January each year from the following groups.
The government has announced that pupil premium and service premium rates will increase in line with inflation for the financial year 2020 to 2021 in April 2020.
We have stated the new rates for each type of pupil premium on this page.
Free school meals
Schools get £1,320 for every primary age pupil, or £935 for every secondary age pupil, who claims free school meals, or who has claimed free school meals in the last 6 years.
From April 2020 the new rates will be:
- £1,345 per primary-aged pupil
- £955 per secondary-aged pupil
Schools get £2,300 for every pupil who has left local authority care through adoption, a special guardianship order or child arrangements order.
Local authorities get the same amount for each child they are looking after; they must work with the school to decide how the money is used to support the child’s Personal Education Plan.
From April 2020, the new rate will be £2,345 per eligible pupil.
The service premium is not part of the pupil premium as the rules to attract the service premium are different.
Schools get £300 for every pupil with a parent who:
- is serving in HM Forces
- has retired on a pension from the Ministry of Defence.
This funding is to help with pastoral support.
From April 2020 the new service premium rate will be £310 per head.
Academically able pupils
The pupil premium is not based on ability.
Research shows that the most academically able pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are most at risk of under-performing. Schools should focus on these pupils just as much as pupils with low results.