Pupil premium funding is allocated to state-funded schools for each financial year rather than by school year, primarily on the basis of the number of pupils recorded in the January school census as having been registered for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the last 6 years. A smaller proportion of pupils attract the pupil premium on the basis of being looked after, or having left care through adoption or under a Special Guardianship, Residence or Child Arrangements Order.
The Department for Education has published illustrative pupil premium funding allocations for the financial year 2014-15, based on census data from 2013. Final allocations for 2014-15 will be published later in the year, based on pupil data gathered through the January 2014 school census and the spring 2014 children looked after data return (and also the October 2014 school census, for adopted and other previously looked after pupils who were not recorded as such in the January 2014 school census).
From the data on which the published illustrative allocations for 2014-15 are based, the Department estimates that 430,350 pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 will attract pupil premium funding on the basis of having been registered for FSM at any point in the last 6 years.
Pupil premium final allocations for the financial year 2015-16 will be based on pupil data gathered through the forthcoming January 2015 school census and the spring 2015 children looked after data return. Final allocations for 2015-16 will be published towards the end of 2015. To ensure we have the best estimates, we are working with primary schools and local authorities so that registration rates for benefits-related FSM are maintained for pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 classes.