The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to work with certain categories of pupils on roll on the January Census date. However, since 2012/13 the Government decided that eligibility for the Pupil Premium be extended to include children who have been registered for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the last six year (known as "Ever 6 FSM). Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after (LAC) continuously for more than six months and for children of Service Personnel (SPC).
The Government sees this as the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for FSM / LAC / SPC and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches pupils who need it most. It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium is spent since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.
Whilst schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit, they will be held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support pupils from families in need of support. From 2012, schools are required to publish information about how they have used the Pupil Premium. This will ensure that parents and others are fully aware of the attainment of pupils covered by the Pupil Premium.