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The Pupil Premium

Page last updated: 14/03/2018

The Pupil Premium is additional funding that is paid to schools in respect of their disadvantaged pupils. Schools receive this funding to support their eligible pupils and narrow the attainment gap between them and their peers.

What is the Pupil Premium?

The Pupil Premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers. ​

For the 2017/18 financial year, funding for the Pupil Premium is as follows:

'Effective use of the Pupil Premium is at the core of the moral purpose of school leadership​' - John Dunford, National Pupil Premium Champion.​

Pupil Premium Funding is a valuable focus to support senior leaders in raising the attainment of disadvantage young people. But it is vital that schools (as well as Early Years and Post 16 settings) consider how all their resources can be used to achieve this goal. (EEF, January 2018)

How well do Pupil Premium pupils achieve in Essex?

How are schools held to account for their spending of the Pupil Premium?

​The Pupil Premium is paid to schools as they are best placed to assess what additional provision their pupils need.

Ofsted inspections report on how schools' use of the funding affects the progress and attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.

Schools are also held to account through performance tables, which include data on:

  • the attainment of the pupils who attract the funding;
  • the progress made by these pupils; especially the more able
  • the progress made by the end of the key stage compared with that made nationally by other pupils with similar starting points and the extent to which any differences in this progress, and consequently in attainment, are diminishing. 


Other Government funding for disadvantaged pupils

​Where can I find information about Pupil Premium Plus, the Pupil Premium for adopted children, the Service Premium and Early Years Pupil Premium?​

How can we support you in raising achievement for disadvantaged pupils?

Further Information


Welcome from the School Effectiveness Team:

We would like to hear from Essex Schools that are willing to share their work which has had a positive outcome upon disadvantaged pupils' achievement. We want to make sure that frequent posts will be added to this page where schools can find examples, top tips and updates from research across the country. School Effectiveness Partners are able to support raising the achievement of disadvantaged pupils through the allocation of days to school led improvement partnerships or for individual schools through traded days. Please contact Carole Farrer, School Effectiveness Partner for further information -​

Guidance regarding commissioning a school review of the impact of the Pupil Premium funding in your school can be found here, where an online directory is available that includes names of leaders who are able to conduct the reviews.

Schools may also seek advice through a Pupil Premium health check, via EES for Schools

The latest school performance data provides evidence that improvements are being made across Essex, however, our challenge is to continue to sustain the current level of improvement whilst accelerating the progress of disadvantaged pupils to narrow gaps.

  • The Education Endowment Fund (EEF) has published a new analysis Closing the Attainment Gap. The report contains 50 key lessons on closing the attainment gap from the EEF's first six years. They include the importance of early years education in closing the gap before it becomes entrenched; targeted small group interventions for those at risk of falling behind; robust and rigorous evaluation of teaching and learning strategies; and sharing effective practice between schools (and building capacity for doing so) as key to closing the gap. The report can be found here