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The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
- In most cases the Pupil Premium is allocated to schools and is clearly identifiable. It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools per FSM pupil, is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.
- For pupils from low-income families in non-mainstream settings, it is for the local authority to decide how to allocate the Pupil Premium. For instance it could be allocated to the setting where they are being educated, or held by the local authority to spend specifically on additional educational support to raise the standard of attainment for these pupils. The authority must consult non-mainstream settings about how the Premium for these pupils should be used.
- Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However they will be held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families. New measures will be included in the performance tables that will capture the achievement of those deprived pupils covered by the Pupil Premium. From September 2012, we will also require schools to publish online information about how they have used the Premium. This will ensure that parents and others are made fully aware of the attainment of pupils covered by the Premium.
- We will also provide schools with information about strategies and interventions which can improve the progress and attainment of pupils from poorer backgrounds.
- The Pupil Premium is allocated to children from low-income families who are currently known to be eligible for FSM in both mainstream and non-mainstream settings and children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months.
- Total funding through the Premium will increase from £625m in 2011-12 to £1.25bn in 2012-13.
- The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011, and paid to local authorities by means of a specific grant based on January 2011 school census figures for pupils registered as eligible for FSM in reception to Year 11. For looked after children the Pupil Premium was calculated using the Children looked after data returns (SSDA903).
- The Pupil Premium was also paid to academies via the Young Peoples’ Learning Agency.
- Local authorities are responsible for looked after children in care and will make payments to schools and academies where an eligible looked after child is on roll.
- The Government has decided that eligibility for the Pupil Premium in 2012-13 will be extended to pupils who have been eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the last 6 years. Earlier this year we consulted on options for extending the coverage of the Pupil Premium. As a group, children who have been eligible for FSM at any point in time have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible for FSM.
- Up to £50m of the £1.25bn will be used to support a Summer School programme to help the most disadvantaged pupils make the transition from primary to secondary school. This approach received the highest support in the recent consultation with 44% of those responding backing its introduction.
This information is taken from the Department for Education.