Guidance

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

Funding

Financial year 2014 to 2015

In the 2014 to 2015 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:

  • £1,300 for pupils in reception year to year 6
  • £935 for pupils in year 7 to year 11

Schools 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 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.

Financial year 2015 to 2016

In the 2015 to 2016 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

Financial year 2014 to 2015

In December 2013, we published illustrative allocations for 2014 to 2015 based on 2013 pupil numbers.

We’ll use data from the January and April 2015 school censuses to adjust the illustrative allocations and confirm how much funding each school will receive in the 2014 to 2015 financial year.

More information on pupil premium allocations for the 2014 to 2015 financial year is available in the conditions of grant document.

The way we calculate allocations for AP settings is different to that of other schools. Read paragraphs 15 and 16 of the 2014 to 2015 conditions of grant for more information.

Financial year 2015 to 2016

We’ll base illustrative allocations for the 2015 to 2016 financial year on 2014 pupil numbers.

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.

Payments

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

These schools do not receive funding directly from DfE. We pay the pupil premium funding to your local authority in quarterly instalments, and they pass the funding on to you.

In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, we’ll pay pupil premium funding to local authorities on:

  • 30 June 2014
  • 30 September 2014
  • 29 December 2014
  • in March 2015

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

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) sends academies and free schools pupil premium funding in quarterly instalments.

In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, we’ll pay academies and free schools their pupil premium on the following dates:

  • 4 July 2014
  • 6 October 2014
  • 6 January 2015
  • 8 April 2015

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.

Accountability

Ofsted inspections

Ofsted revised their inspection framework in July 2014. As a result, school inspections report on the attainment and progress of disadvantaged pupils who attract the pupil premium.

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.

Guidance on what specific information you must publish on your website is available.

Good examples of how you might present your information can be found on the Heath School and Belmont School websites.

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 your:

You can also commission an independent pupil premium review or get support from a system leader as part of your own school improvement.

Find a system leader

If Ofsted recommends that you commission a pupil premium review, you’ll have to work with a system leader who’ll help you improve the provision for disadvantaged pupils in your school ahead of reinspection.

You’re free to find your own local system leader, but Ofsted can help you identify a local system leader. You can also contact a pupil premium system leader from the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

You’ll need to pay for the system leader from your own budget. You can use any part of your budget, including the pupil premium, to fund this.

Work with your system leader

The system leader will help you develop a more effective strategy for using the pupil premium in your school.

They’ll ask the headteacher and chair of governors to sign off the new strategy.

Reinspection

Your future Ofsted inspections will take into account any improvements you’ve made as a result of the pupil premium review.

Schools undergoing a governance review

If your Ofsted inspection has also recommended a review of governance, you can combine your pupil premium review with the governance review.

Support other schools

If you’re interested in applying to become a system leader, contact NCTL.

Pupil Premium Awards

We present Pupil Premium Awards to schools whose use of the pupil premium has significantly improved the outcomes of their disadvantaged pupils.

There are prizes for:

  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • infant schools
  • special schools
  • AP settings

Up to 630 schools will win an award in both 2015 and 2016:

  • the winners will receive a prize of up to £250,000
  • there’ll be regional prizes of up to £100,000
  • we’ll give out hundreds of smaller awards

Visit the Pupil Premium Awards website to find out the criteria for the awards and details of the qualifiers and finalists for the 2015 awards.