House of Commons Library

School funding: Pupil Premium

Published Monday, November 21, 2016

The introduction and development of the Pupil Premium policy since its introduction in 2011

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The Coalition Government introduced the Pupil Premium in 2011 to provide additional school funding for those children classed as having deprived backgrounds, and also those who had been looked after (by a local authority) for more than six months. In addition, the Service Premium was introduced for children whose parent(s) are, or have since 2011, served in the armed forces.

Since their introduction, changes have been made to the eligibility criteria and the funding levels of the premiums. The Pupil Premium has increased from £430 per pupil in 2011–12, to £1,320 per primary pupil and £935 per secondary pupil in 2016-17 (in 2014-15 the Government introduced different Pupil Premium rates for primary and secondary pupils). In addition, while eligible looked after children previously attracted the same Pupil Premium as deprived children, in 2014-15 the “Pupil Premium Plus” was introduced. For 2014-15 and 2015-16 current or certain previously looked after children each attracted £1,900 of funding. The eligibility criteria for the Service Premium have been broadened since 2011-12 and the rate has increased from £200 to £300.

The Spending Review in November 2015 included a commitment from the Government to continue funding the Pupil Premium at existing cash terms levels.

This briefing sets out the original formulation of the Pupil Premium policy, and how it has developed over time. It also includes information on how the Premiums are paid to local authorities and passed on to schools, as well as information on the effectiveness of the Premium. It does not include information on the Early Years Pupil Premium.

This briefing applies to England only.

Related briefings

This note is one in a series of Library Briefing Papers on school funding. School funding: Developments since 2010 (SN/SP/6702) sets out the changes made by the Coalition Government to school funding in England and plans for further reform under the Conservatives.

The following historical notes are also available:

Commons Briefing papers SN06700

Authors: Tim Jarrett; Robert Long; David Foster

Topics: Armed forces, Armed forces welfare, Incomes and poverty, Local authorities: education, Schools

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