Useful Links

Useful Links

Back to top

St Nicholas Church of England Primary School

Pupil Premium

What is the Pupil Premium?

Introduced in 2011, the ‘Pupil Premium’ is a sum of money given to schools each year by the Government to improve the attainment of disadvantaged children. It is designed to help disadvantaged pupils of all abilities perform better, and close the gap between them and their peers.

 Schools are given pupil premium funding for:

  • Children who have qualified for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the past six years.

  • Children who are or have been looked after under local authority care for more than one day (adoption, special guardianship order, child arrangement order/residence order).

  • Children with a parent serving in the Forces or retired on a pension from the Ministry of Defence.

 In March 2018 the Government announced that free school meals would only be available to children in KS2 (Years 3-6) whose families have a net income of £7400 or under, effective from 1 April 2018. Children previously entitled to free school meals but no longer eligible, will still receive pupil premium based on the 'Ever 6' qualification (a pupil who has ever had free school meals in the past six years).

Prior to April 2018, children qualified for free school meals – and accordingly pupil premium – if parents received any of the following benefits:

  • Income support

  • Income-based jobseekers’ allowance

  • Income-related employment and support allowance

  • Support under Part IV of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

  • The guaranteed element of state pension credit

  • Child tax credit, provided parents are not also entitled to working tax credit and have an annual gross income of £16,190 or less.


These benefits have now been rolled into a single benefit, called Universal Credit.


Since September 2014, all children in Reception and Years 1 and 2 have qualified for free school meals, regardless of their family income, but only the children who would qualify for free meals under the above income-based criteria will receive the pupil premium.

Use of the Funding

Schools can choose how to spend their pupil premium money, as they are best placed to identify what would be of most benefit to the children who are eligible.

Common ways in which schools spend their pupil premium funding include:

  • Extra one-to-one or small-group support for children within the classroom.

  • Employing extra teaching assistants to work with classes.

  • Funding educational trips and visits.


However, because there is such variation in this group in terms of ability, the core purpose of the funding should be around the quality of teaching and leaning in the classroom, to meet all needs. There is no obligation for a school to consult parents about how they use the money. However, schools do have to show that they are using their pupil premium fund appropriately and this is detailed in the document above.