Shameful: Up to 100,000 pupils fall foul of DfE's Pupil Premium rule change

The extent to which the government has “short-changed” schools has finally been revealed after official figures showed that up to 100,000 FSM children will not attract Pupil Premium funding this year.

School census data for January 2021 show that the proportion of pupils eligible for FSM has risen to 20.8 per cent – more than one in five school-aged children in England.

The rise shows the impact of Covid-19 on family finances. The latest figures compare to eligibility of 17.3 per cent in January 2020 and 19.7 per cent in October 2020.

It is this last figure that is important because an “administrative change” to how the Pupil Premium is allocated means that the Department for Education (DfE) moved to using October 2020 census data – and not the usual January 2021 census – to decide on Pupil Premium eligibility for the 2021/22 financial year.

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