Last reviewed on 16 August 2021
School types: All · School phases: All
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Learn how the DfE and Ofsted define 'disadvantaged' pupils. There's no official definition of 'vulnerable' pupils, but you can see examples of how the DfE and the Children's Commissioner define this group.

Disadvantaged pupils


In the conditions of grant for the pupil premium, the DfE says that 'disadvantaged pupils' are:

  • Pupils in year groups reception to year 11 recorded as 'ever 6 free school meals (FSM)'
  • Eligible pupils in year groups reception to year 11 with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
  • Looked after children (LAC), defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority (LA)
  • Children who have ceased to be looked after by an LA in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, or a child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order)

Read our article to learn more about which pupils are eligible for pupil premium funding.


With special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Pupils who meet the criteria for pupil premium funding Children in need of help and