What is pupil premium? And how do I spend it?

Pupil premium was introduced in 2011 to help schools to bridge the academic gap between children from different socio-economic backgrounds. The pupils who qualify are eligible for free school meals, or have been eligible in the previous six years; children who have been looked after, or are covered by a guardianship or residency order; have been adopted from care or have a parent serving in the armed forces. The sums of money paid to schools vary depending on whether the school is primary or secondary, and which category the pupil comes under.

To help headteachers understand the best ways to spend their pupil premium we’ve created a free Primary School Guide to Pupil Premium (includes Effective Strategies, Ofsted Checklist and 15-point Success Plan)

Accountability to Ofsted

For many schools, because of the area they serve, pupil premium forms a sizeable chunk of the overall school budget. Schools are held accountable for how they spend their funding, partly through the Ofsted inspection process. Although inspectors won’t judge a school on how it spends the funding, it will want to see that the money is being used on strategies and initiatives that are effective, and that the school’s leadership is monitoring and managing this spending well. Inspectors may ask for evidence on how groups of pupils are performing compared with their peers.

Narrowing the gap measure

School performance tables now include a ‘Narrowing the Gap’ measure showing how disadvantaged children perform in each school.  Since September 2012, schools have been required to publish online details of their pupil premium allocation and their plans to spend it in the current year.

What really works with pupil premium to narrow the gap

What is, and is not, effective use of the pupil premium can be difficult to gauge. What works in one school, or with one set of pupils, may not necessarily work with another. It can be challenging for heads and teachers to decide which strategies to use for the speediest results. Sometimes these initiatives take time to show results even if, in the long run, they prove to be successful.

Don't wade through hundreds of pages, read our "informative and concise" Guide to Pupil Premium: includes FREE Ofsted Checklist and 15-point success plan to

CPD and school strategy free

Primary School Guide to the Pupil Premium

Based on real experience and research from Third Space Learning and pupil premium award winning school Pakeman Primary, this resource can help you make the best decisions for your budget

Free pupil premium guide for primary schools

Given that over 50% of the pupils to whom we provide one-to-one maths support are in receipt of pupil premium funding we are heavily invested in ensuring that our intervention makes a difference. But what about the rest? And how do you report on impact when Ofsted comes calling? To help you sort the wheat from the chaff and plan your own pupil premium strategy, we’ve worked with heads and teachers to put together a free guide to pupil premium specifically focused on primary schools.

Our intention is that a headteacher or school leader like you can use this as a resource when mapping out your own plans for next year. The guide will:

  • Save you time when choosing between the many interventions available

  • Give you confidence that you have the reporting required for Ofsted

  • Provide inspiration for how to succeed with children who most need help

  • Help you in planning next year’s school budget

Now read: 35 ways to spend the pupil premium funding 2018 effectively.

Sophie Waterman-Smith , Teacher , Third Space Learning

Sophie grew up in Brighton and taught Maths in a secondary school. In between working with our schools, she writes about the teachmeets she attends on our blog.