The pupil premium is additional funding received by schools for each pupil from disadvantaged families or background. It is allocated to schools based on the number of children who come from low-income families, this is defined as those who are currently known to be eligible for free school meals. It’s important to know that a pupil does not need to have a school dinner, but the parents / carers must have applied and be entitled if they wanted one.
It also includes:
pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years and children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months
This money is for schools to decide how to use but should be spent in order to improve educational attainment of children from less privileged backgrounds.
This is one of the current coalition government’s key education policies. It’s based on findings that show that, as a group, children who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in time have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible for FSM.
It is however a crude method of assessing needs and must be seen as such by schools as they target the needs of each individual whether they be on FSM or not. It could be that children who are not in receipt of FSM are living under more challenging circumstances than those in receipt of FSM.