On 17th December 2020, the Department for Education in England updated its guidance on pupil premium, changing the way it is allocated.

Since its introduction, pupil premium and pupil premium plus for looked after and previously looked after children, has been allocated based on the number of eligible children recorded on each school’s January census, which takes place in the third week of January each year.

This has now changed. Starting this year, allocations for children in mainstream and special schools will be decided based on the number of eligible children recorded in the October census.

As a result of this, data from the October 2020 census will be used to allocate the funding that schools will begin to receive in April 2021.

For alternative provision and pupil referral units, the January census will still be used.

The Department for Education has advised Adoption UK that this change is to bring pupil premium funding in line with most other school funding, which is based on the October census. The amount of funding will remain the same at £2,345 per pupil per year.

Unfortunately, this does mean that if your child is eligible for pupil premium plus, but changed school after the October census, they will not now be recorded as eligible at their current setting until October 2021, with the school receiving first funding in April 2022.

It also means that in future, it will be even more important for parents and guardians to declare their child’s eligibility and provide the documentary evidence as soon as the school year starts in September.

We have asked the Department for Education for more information, and are awaiting the release of more comprehensive guidance, which is due in the next few weeks.

The policy paper which gives details of this change can be accessed online here: Pupil premium - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)