Pupil premium: funding and accountability for schools

How much pupil premium funding schools and non-mainstream settings receive, how they should spend it and how we hold them to account.

The pupil premium 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.

Pupil premium funding is available to:

  • local-authority-maintained schools, including special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs)
  • voluntary-sector alternative provision (AP), with local authority agreement
  • special schools not maintained by the local authority (NMSS)
  • academies and free schools, including special and AP academies


Financial year 2016 to 2017

In the 2016 to 2017 financial year, schools will receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years:

  • £1,320 for pupils in reception year to year 6
  • £935 for pupils in year 7 to year 11

Schools will also receive £1,900 for each pupil who has left local-authority care because of 1 of the following:

  • adoption
  • a special guardianship order
  • a child arrangements order
  • a residence order

If a pupil has been registered as eligible for free school meals and has also left local-authority care for any of the reasons above, they will attract the £1,900 rate.

Children who have been in local-authority care for 1 day or more also attract £1,900 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.

Funding allocations

In June 2016 we published pupil premium allocations for the 2016 to 2017 financial year based on January 2016 school census data.

More information on the allocations is available in the conditions of grant document.

Estimate your allocation

We’ve published a list that allows schools to see how many of their pupils have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years on the Key to Success website.

You can use this list to estimate how much pupil premium funding you’ll get.


Local-authority-maintained schools (including special schools and PRUs) and NMSS

We pay the pupil premium funding to your local authority in quarterly instalments, and they pass the funding on to you.

In the 2016 to 2017 financial year, we’ll pay pupil premium funding to local authorities on:

  • 30 June 2016
  • 30 September 2016
  • 29 December 2016
  • 31 March 2017

Academies and free schools (including special academies and AP academies)

We pay academies and free schools pupil premium funding in quarterly instalments.

In the 2016 to 2017 financial year, we’ll pay academies and free schools their pupil premium on the following dates:

  • 6 July 2016
  • 6 October 2016
  • 6 January 2017
  • 6 April 2017

Using the pupil premium effectively

The Education Endowment Foundation has produced a teaching and learning toolkit to help teachers and schools effectively use the pupil premium to support disadvantaged pupils. Its families of schools toolkit helps teachers learn about effective practice from similar schools.

We’ve also published a list of key stage 2 and key stage 4 schools with excellent results for disadvantaged pupils up to 2014, which includes pupil premium award winners from 2015. You can find information on the 2014 and 2013 winners on the Pupil Premium Awards website. We’ve encouraged all schools with excellent results to share their achievements, strengths and experience with other schools.


Ofsted inspections

Ofsted’s school inspections report on the attainment and progress of disadvantaged pupils who attract the pupil premium. The Ofsted inspection framework and handbook effective from September 2015 are available.

Online reporting

You must publish details of how your school spends its pupil premium and the effect this has had on the attainment of the pupils who attract the funding.

Read guidance on what specific information you must publish on your website.

You can find a good example of how you might present your information on the Heath School website.

Performance tables

School and college performance tables also report on the performance of disadvantaged pupils compared with their peers.

Pupil premium reviews

Ofsted will recommend that a school commissions a pupil premium review if they identify issues with the school’s provision for disadvantaged pupils. You can find more information in Ofsted’s school inspection handbook.

Other bodies may also recommend that you commission a pupil premium review, including:

Guidance on how to commission a pupil premium review is available.