The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
The Pupil Premium is allocated to children from low-income families in both mainstream and non-mainstream settings and children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months.
The Government decided that eligibility for the Pupil Premium in 2012–13 would be extended to pupils who have been eligible for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the last 6 years. As a group, children who are eligible for FSM at any point in time have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible for FSM.
A premium has also been introduced for children whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces.