School funding

Pupil premium funding rates to rise by less than 2% in 2024

Rises of between 1.4 and 1.7 per cent fall far below current inflation

Rises of between 1.4 and 1.7 per cent fall far below current inflation

Rates of pupil premium funding paid to schools to support disadvantaged children will rise by less than 2 per cent next April, the Department for Education has said.

In guidance published this week, the government revealed pupil premium funding rates for the 2024-25 financial year.

The rise of between 1.4 and 1.7 per cent is far below the current rate of inflation, which stands at 3.9 per cent. It follows a rise of 5 per cent for the current financial year.

Overall per-pupil funding is due to rise by just 1.9 per cent in 2024.

Schools and councils receive pupil premium funding for every pupil who has been eligible for free school meals at some point in the last six years.

They also receive a higher amount for looked-after and previously looked-after children.

Next year, the basic rate for primary schools will rise by 1.7 per cent from £1,455 to £1,480, and the rate for secondary schools will rise 1.4 per cent from £1,035 to £1,050.

The rate paid to schools and councils for looked-after and previously looked-after children at both phases will increase by 1.6 per cent from £2,530 to £2,570.

It comes after the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that pupil premium funding had eroded in real-terms by 14 per cent since 2015, because increases have not kept pace with inflation.

The think tank’s report found the most deprived fifth of secondary schools saw spending per pupil fall by 12 per cent in real terms between 2010 and 2021, compared with just 5 per cent for the least deprived fifth.

The most deprived schools still have a funding advantage – because poorer pupils still attract additional uplifts – but this advantage shrank from 31 per cent in 2010 to just 21 per cent in 2021.

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