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Pupil premium and disadvantaged pupils

Deprivation pupil premium

What is it?

The pupil premium was introduced in 2011. It is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers. The pupil premium is allocated to:-

  • children from low-income families who are known to be eligible for free school meals or eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years
  • children who had been looked after continuously for more than 6 months
  • children of service personnel

How much? – rates for eligible pupils

The PPG per pupil for 2018 to 2019 is as follows:

Disadvantaged pupils Pupil premium per pupil
Pupils in year groups reception to year 6 recorded as Ever 6 FSM £1,320
Pupils in years 7 to 11 recorded as Ever 6 FSM £935
Looked-after children (LAC) defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority £2,300 (at discretion of home local authority)
Children who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order £2,300
From 2015 the pupil premium was made available for disadvantaged 3 and 4 year olds – £300 per child – 53p X 570 hours £ £300 (approx.)

What for?

The pupil premium is intended to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and to close the gap between them and their peers. How the pupil premium is spent is up to the school but schools will be held accountable for the impact of the grant and how effective it has been in reducing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and others in the school.

Pupil Premium 2015 to 2016: Conditions of Grant

Identifying pupil premium pupils

DfE Key to Success website (schools are advised to check this website regularly as it does get updated during the year.)

Supporting pupils who are disadvantaged

Primarily this funding is to raise educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.  Disadvantaged pupils come to school from a range of backgrounds, with a range of issues and often worries about their home life.  In order to support pupils, particularly where issues and worry are barriers to their learning, we need to offer targeted support.  Please see poverty, housing, neglect sections of this document for further information.  Where there are child protection concerns the school child protection policy and procedures must always be implemented.

Ofsted and the pupil premium

The impact of the pupil premium is a central issue for Ofsted in making judgements about the school. Disadvantaged pupils are a focus group for Ofsted and the school’s progress in closing the gap between them and other pupils forms a major part in reaching judgements about the school’s outcomes. The effectiveness of the school’s use of the pupil premium forms part of the judgement Ofsted will make about the school’s leadership and management.

Pupil premium audit

The audit will support schools in monitoring their progress in using the pupil premium and closing the gap. The audit provides a structure for the review of progress of disadvantaged pupils and the school’s spending of the grant. It also provides schools with a starting point to evaluate its systems for making decisions about the pupil premium and for monitoring progress.

Pupil premium reviews

Ofsted inspectors will recommend an external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium if they identify specific issues regarding the provision and outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

This means that the school should seek support from an independent external system leader with a track record of accelerating disadvantaged pupils’ achievement. Full details of what might be the form and nature of such reviews can be found at: Pupil Premium Reviews . Inspectors will follow up on the review during any subsequent inspections.

Schools whose self-evaluation raises some concerns about the effectiveness of their use of the pupil premium may consider commissioning a review themselves. Further information can be obtained from the website above or from the local authority.

Early years pupil premium

The early years pupil premium (EYPP) is additional funding for early years settings to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged 3- and 4-year-olds.

3- and 4-year-olds in state-funded early education will attract EYPP funding if they meet at least 1 of the following criteria:

  • their family gets 1 of the following:
  • income Support
  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of state pension credit
  • Child tax credit (provided they’re not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working tax credit run-on, which is paid for 4 weeks after they stop qualifying for working tax credit
  • Universal credit
  • they are currently being looked after by a local authority in England or Wales
  • they have left care in England or Wales through:
  • an adoption
  • a special guardianship order
  • a child arrangement order

Children must receive free early education in order to attract EYPP funding. They do not have to take up the full 570 hours of early education they are entitled to in order to get EYPP.

4-year-olds in primary school reception classes who already receive the school-age pupil premium are not eligible for EYPP funding.

Early years providers are ultimately responsible for identifying eligible children. Children who took up the early education entitlement for 2-year-olds will probably attract EYPP when they turn 3.

Early Education suite of basic and ideas materials

Foundation Years – case study collection

Education Endowment Foundation toolkit

Updates and changes


These pages are updated regularly and should be used as the main source of information.  Printed versions should be used with care as they can become out of date.