The pupil premium is a government initiative that targets extra money at pupils from deprived backgrounds. Research shows that pupils from deprived backgrounds underachieve compared to their non-deprived peers. The premium is provided to enable these pupils to be supported to reach their potential.
The Government has used pupils entitled to free school meals (FSM), looked after children and service children as indicators of deprivation, and have provided a fixed amount of money for schools per pupil based on the number of pupils registered for FSM over a rolling six year period. This fixed amount of money is expected to increase every year for the course of this current Parliament.
When making decisions about using pupil premium funding it is important to consider the context of the school and the subsequent challenges faced. Common barriers for FSM children can be less support at home, weak language and communication skills, lack of confidence, more frequent behaviour difficulties, and attendance and punctuality issues. There may also be complex family situations that prevent children from flourishing. The challenges are varied and there is no “one size fits all”.