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The Pupil Premium

Page last updated: 03/07/2019

​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 2018/19 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. 

Schools are required to publish their strategy for the expenditure of the Pupil premium Grant. For the current academic year you must include:

  • the school's pupil premium grant allocation amount
  • a summary of the main barriers to education achievement faced by the eligible pupils at the school
  • how you'll spend the pupil premium to overcome those barriers and the reasons for that approach
  • how you'll measure the effect of the pupil premium
  • the date of the next review of the school's pupil premium strategy

For the previous academic year, you must include:

  • how you spent the pupil premium allocation
  • The effect of the expenditure on eligible and other pupils

Information on the website is for parents and carers so should be presented in a form that they will find accessible.

 The Teaching Schools Alliance provides a template schools may wish to use:


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 regarding support to teaching staff and school leaders in raising achievement -​

​Schools may commission a Pupil Premium Review by contacting Carole Farrer, School Effectiveness Partner on ​

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.

  • A new EEF Guide to the Pupil Premium has been published. It aims to support schools in spending their Pupil Premium to maximise the benefit for their students. The report recommends school take a tiered approach to Pupil Premium spending. It also includes case studies of inspiring schools who have used their Pupil Premium to transform outcomes for disadvantaged pupils, please do take the time to read this guide.
  • 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
  • The Masonic Charitable Foundation's Early Years Opportunities programme is open to help disadvantaged children and young people overcome the barriers they face to achieve the best possible start in life. Grant applications​ close on Friday 26 October 2018.