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. Introduced in April 2011, the pupil premium is allocated to children who are looked after by the local authority, those who have been eligible for FSM at any point in the last six years (also known as Ever 6 FSM) and for children whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces. From April 2014 children who are looked after, attract a higher rate of funding than children from low-income families - the ‘Pupil Premium Plus’. This is to reflect the unique challenges they face at school where they often struggle to keep up with their peers at both primary and secondary level.
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. The main purpose of the grant is to diminish the difference between Pupil Premium pupils and Non-Pupil Premium pupils.