The pupil premium is a grant given to schools to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers, and to support pupils with parents in the armed forces (this part of it is also known as the 'service premium').
School receive money for each pupil of compulsory school age who fits the eligibility criteria. There are 5 categories of eligibility, with different amounts of funding attached.
The grant is allocated in line with the financial year, which begins in April, rather than the academic year.
From April 2021, the grant will be allocated based on the number of eligible pupils recorded at your school in the October 2020 census. This is explained in the DfE guidance updated in February 2021. If an eligible pupil joins after this census, you won't receive their allocation until the following year.
The rates will remain unchanged for the financial year 2021-22.
Academies receive their grant directly from the Education and Skills Funding Agency in quarterly instalments
Pupil premium funding for looked-after children (LAC) is allocated to the virtual school head in the LA, rather than schools. The virtual school head will work with schools to decide how it will be spent.
Spending the grant
Schools can spend the grant as they see fit, as long as they can demonstrate their spending is improving the attainment of eligible pupils. You don't need to spend an equal amount on each pupil, or fund interventions that benefit only eligible pupils.