The Pupil Premium is allocated to schools for children who are currently known to be eligible for free school meals (FSM), those known to have been eligible in the last six years, children of service families and children who are or who have been in the care of a local authority. It was introduced in April 2011 and is intended to narrow the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. In the 2020 to 2021 financial year, schools receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years:
- £1 345 for pupils in reception year to year 6.
- Schools also receive £2345 for each pupil who has left the care of a local authority because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order.
- Children who have been in local-authority care for one day or more also attract £2345 of pupil premium funding. Funding for these pupils doesn’t go to their school; it goes to the virtual school head (VSH) in the local authority that looks after the child. VSHs are responsible for managing pupil premium funding for looked-after children.
- Schools receive £300 for children recorded as service children from the Ministry of Defence.