The students premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged students of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers.
Student premium funding is available to:
- local-authority-maintained schools, including:
- special schools (for children with special educational needs or disabilities)
- student referral units (PRUs - for children who can’t go to a mainstream school)
- academies and free schools, including
- special academies (for children with special educational needs or disabilities)
- alternative provision (AP) academies (for children who can’t go to a mainstream school)
- voluntary-sector alternative provision (AP), with local authority agreement
- non-maintained special schools (NMSS - schools for children with special educational needs that the Secretary of State for Education has approved under section 342 of the Education Act 1996)
Research suggests that the following barriers to learning are particularly significant to student premium students:
- Students enter the school with low levels of literacy and numeracy
- The attendance and punctuality of student premium students often reduces their learning hours and causes them to fall behind
- Poor home learning environment leading to a lack of independent study
- Family problems – safeguarding, finance, parenting skills, mental health leading to a lack of parental engagement
- Students have not had anyone in the family attend University so do not have the same level of knowledge at home to draw from when considering future options
- Students may not have had the same access to a wide range of enrichment activities as non-PP students.
- Some students require additional support or an alternative curriculum to meet their needs
- Poor language acquisition (English as an Additional Language)
"In 2016, Year 11 disadvantaged students made much better progress than in previous years. Consequently, differences in the progress and attainment of disadvantaged students compared with those of other students nationally diminished significantly.These improved outcomes for disadvantaged students are evidence that leaders are now using the student premium funding more effectively." Ofsted, September 2016
Financial year 2017 to 2018
In the 2017 to 2018 financial year, schools will receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years:
- £1,320 for students in reception year to year 6
- £935 for students in year 7 to year 11
Schools will also receive £1,900 for each student identified in the spring school census as having left local-authority care because of 1 of the following:
- a special guardianship order
- a child arrangements order
- a residence order
If a student has been registered as eligible for free school meals and has also left local-authority care for any of the reasons above, they will attract the £1,900 rate.
Children who have been in local-authority care for 1 day or more also attract £1,900 of student premium funding. Funding for these student is managed by the virtual school head (VSH) in the local authority that looks after the child.