Skip to main content

Pupil Premium

Question for Department for Education

UIN 137960, tabled on 14 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason his Department's policy is that from April 2021 pupil premium allocations will be calculated based on the number of eligible pupils recorded by schools in their census in October 2020 and not the January 2021 census.

Answered on

22 January 2021

On 17 December 2020 we confirmed that the pupil premium will continue in 2021-22 with the same per pupil funding rates as in 2020-21. This is expected to increase pupil premium funding to more than £2.5 billion in 2021-22 as more children have become eligible for free school meals.

For mainstream and special educational needs schools, we will base eligibility for the 2021-22 pupil premium funding on the October 2020 census. In previous years, we have used the January census to determine pupil premium eligibility. Moving to the October census brings the administration of the pupil premium in line with the rest of schools’ core budgets (most notably the national funding formula, and local school funding formulae), which calculate schools’ budgets for the coming year on the basis of the October census. The move to the October census simplifies the school funding system, and provide both schools and the Department with greater certainty around future funding levels earlier in the year.

Alternative Provision and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) will continue to be funded based on the January census, since there is no census for alternative provision in October, and the October census is not representative of the number of pupils in PRUs across a full academic year.