We are not able, in the time available, to assess how many schools have received the pupil premium in total since its introduction in 2011 as this data is not held in the format requested. However, in the 2013-14 financial year, 19,986 schools attracted funding due to having one or more pupils who had been registered for free school meals at any point in the previous six years. There were also 1,349 schools (maintained special schools, special academies, pupil referral units (PRUs) or Alternative Provision academies) for which the local authority received any pupil premium funding due, in line with the conditions of grant. These figures do not take into account schools receiving pupil premium plus for looked after children, as this funding was also allocated to local authorities to distribute.
The gap in pupils achieving Level 4 or above in key stage 2 reading and mathematics has narrowed from 19.3 to 16.2 percentage points between 2011 and 2013. The gap in pupils achieving at least five good GCSEs including English and mathematics has narrowed from 27.4 to 26.7 percentage points over the same period.
Whilst it is too soon to see significant evidence of the impact of the policy on the national attainment statistics, our assessments of the policy show an improving picture. Ofsted concurs with this view, and in its most recent report of July 2014 stated that schools are using the funding more effectively than ever before to raise the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils, and that gaps in many schools are beginning to close, in some cases quite quickly.