You are here:

Last reviewed on 13 June 2019
Ref: 12544
School types: All · School phases: All

Read our one minute summary of the pupil premium and download it to share with your colleagues.

Eligibility and funding amounts

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).

You 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. Allocations are based on data from the previous January census. If an eligible pupil joins after this census, you won't receive their allocation until the following year.

Maintained schools receive the grant through their local authority (LA). Academies receive it directly from the Education and Skills Funding Agency. All schools receive 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'll be spent.

Spending the grant

You can spend the grant as you see fit, as long as you can demonstrate your 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, but the grant should not fund free school meals, because there's different money for this.

Publishing pupil premium information

Maintained schools must publish pupil premium information on their websites. For the previous academic year, you must set out how the pupil premium allocation was spent, and its impact on eligible and other pupils.

For the current academic year, you must publish a strategy setting out:

  • The amount of the school’s pupil premium allocation
  • The main barriers to educational achievement faced by eligible pupils, how the grant will be spent to address these barriers, the reasons for this approach and how impact will be measured
  • The date of the school’s next review of its pupil premium strategy

If you're in an academy, you should check your funding agreement to confirm exactly what you must publish, but the Department for Education recommends you also publish the above information.

Early years pupil premium

The early years pupil premium (EYPP) is for disadvantaged children aged 3 and 4 years old. All providers who are eligible to receive early education funding are also eligible to receive the EYPP.

To share this QuickRead with colleagues, simply download and print it from the link below:


The information in this QuickRead was taken from the following sources:

More from The Key

Anxiety (2).jpg

Pupil mental health: deepening understanding

Are you looking to deepen your staff's understanding of mental health, including anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation? Safeguarding Training Centre has the resources you need.


Evidence-led training courses that make it easy to upskill staff, anytime, anywhere.

CPD Toolkit is the most effective way to virtually deliver evidence-led training and support the professional development of your staff. Downloadable courses and online 5-minute summaries provide flexibility for training, whether staff are participating as skeleton staff in-school, via video call or individually at their own pace.

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.