Pupil premium policy for children and young people in care


This policy is informed by three key Departments for Education (DfE) documents:

Pupil premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to:

  • raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities 
  • close the gaps between them and their peers

Pupil premium funding is available to:

  • schools maintained by the local authority, including:
    • special schools, for children with special educational needs or disabilities 
    • pupil referral units (PRUs), for children who can’t go to a mainstream school
  • academies and free schools, including:
    • special academies, for children with special educational needs or disabilities 
    • alternative provision (AP) academies, for children who cannot go to a mainstream school
  • voluntary-sector AP, with local authority agreement
  • non-maintained special schools (NMSS), for children with special educational needs as approved by the Secretary of State for Education under section 342 of the Education Act 1992

Throughout this policy, the pupil premium for children in care will be referred to as the pupil premium plus grant to distinguish it from other forms of pupil premium allocations.

The funding rates for pupil premium plus for the financial year (April 2024 to March 2025) are:

  • 1 April 2024 pupil premium plus grant £2,570 per statutory school aged pupil
  • 1 April 2024 early years pupil premium grant amount £388 per child

Children and young people are eligible as soon as they enter care.

Local authorities continue to be responsible for distributing the pupil premium plus grant payments for children in care to education settings.The virtual school head teacher (VSH) is also responsible for ensuring effective arrangements are in place for allocating pupil premium plus grant funding to benefit children looked after by their home authority.

The overall grant allocated to each LA will be calculated on a per capita basis. However, it does not have to be distributed on a per capita basis, given that children and young people in care have differing levels of need at different stages of their journey through life in the care of the local authority.

The grant must be managed by the virtual school head. It must be used to improve academic outcomes as identified in the Personal Education Plan [PEP] in consultation with the designated teacher. As a result, the quality of PEPs must be monitored closely by:

  • designated teachers
  • the virtual school team
  • social care team leaders
  • independent reviewing officers