Department for Education
Printable version

Disadvantaged primary pupils to benefit from extra £22.5 million

Schools Minister David Laws confirms £2.545 billion total pupil premium funding for 2015 to 2016.

Disadvantaged primary school pupils will benefit from an extra £22.5 million to help them close the gap on their peers, Schools Minister David Laws announced yesterday (11 November 2014).

The increased pupil premium funding for primary schools for 2015 to 2016 will provide additional resources for teachers to support the most disadvantaged pupils from the very start of school and stop them falling behind.

Evidence shows that raising the attainment of pupils by the end of primary school has a direct impact on how well they go on to perform in theirGCSEs, setting them on the path to a more successful future. Primary schools will now receive £1,320 for every pupil who has been registered for free school meals at any time in the last 6 years (known as ‘Ever 6 FSM’ pupils).

There has already been significant progress towards closing the attainment gap. The percentage of disadvantaged pupils meeting the expected level in both reading and maths at the end of primary has risen from 62.2% in 2011 to 69.3% in 2013, and the gap between disadvantaged pupils and others has narrowed from 18.5 percentage points in 2011 to 14.8 percentage points in 2013.

The government has protected this funding as part of an ongoing commitment to providing teachers with the resources they need to continue to raise the attainment of all disadvantaged pupils, building a stronger economy and a fairer society.

Schools Minister David Laws said:

Every child should be able to reach their full potential, whatever their background. The pupil premium is building a fairer society with opportunity for everyone.

We know schools are using their pupil premium funding more effectively than ever to raise the performance of those children who need extra help.

We have already made significant progress towards closing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. This additional funding will ensure teachers continue to have the resources they need to give all pupils the best possible start at school, regardless of their background.

David Laws confirmed the total available pupil premium funding will be protected in real terms, giving a total of £2.545 billion in 2015 to 2016. All secondary schools will continue to receive £935 for ‘Ever 6 FSM’ pupils, and all schools will continue to receive £1,900 for those who are looked after or have left care through adoption or other circumstances.

The government has taken significant steps to provide support at an earlier stage for disadvantaged pupils, to ensure all young children are able to fulfil their potential in life. Last month it was announced that schools, nurseries and childminders are to receive £300 for every 3- and 4-year-old from a low-income family under the new early years pupil premium, so these children start school on an equal footing to their peers.

As part of a wider government commitment to raising the attainment of all pupils, David Laws yesterday also announced that the literacy and numeracy catch-up premium for year 7 pupils will be continued in 2015 to 2016. The premium, for pupils from all backgrounds who do not reach the expected level 4 in reading or mathematics at key stage 2, enables schools to provide additional support to help them catch up with their classmates. Schools receive £500 per eligible pupil, totalling £53.8 million in 2013 to 2014.

Notes to editors

  1. Actual 2015 to 2016 pupil premium allocations will be announced in June 2015.

  2. The pupil premium has increased in each year of this parliament, and will now surpass the £2.5 billion originally set out at the formation of the coalition government. Read more about the pupil premium.

  3. The government is providing a literacy and numeracy catch-up premium for year 7 pupils who have failed to reach level 4 in reading and/or mathematics - the 2 most important skills for life. Allocations for the 2014 to 2015 year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium will be made in early 2015, based on the number of eligible pupils listed in autumn 2014 census returns and the 2014 key stage 2 assessments. Schools will receive an additional premium of £500 for each year 7 pupil who has not achieved at least level 4 in reading and/or mathematics (maximum £500 per pupil) at key stage 2. We expect to make 2015 to 2016 allocations in early 2016, on the same basis.

  4. More information about the year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium is available.

DfE enquiries

Central newsdesk 020 7783 8300

General enquiries 0370 000 2288


Channel website:

Share this article

Latest News from
Department for Education