Service Pupil Premium – What is it? Who is eligible?

The Service Pupil Premium was introduced by the Department for Education in April 2011 as part of its commitment to deliver the Armed Forces Covenant and in recognition of the specific challenges children from service families face.

Children in state schools, academies and free schools in Reception to Year 11 who meet the eligibility criteria attract £310.

Money is paid directly to the school and paid for the total number of service children as a whole within the school and not specifically allocated to individual children.

Eligible schools receive the Service Pupil Premium so that they can offer mainly pastoral support during challenging times and to help mitigate the negative impact on service children of family mobility or parental deployment.

The Service Pupil Premium differs from the Pupil Premium as it is there for schools to provide mainly pastoral support.

Schools are held to account for the spending of this funding through the focus in Ofsted inspections on the progress and attainment of their wider Pupil Premium eligible pupil cohort.

It is up to the parent to declare to the school if they or their partner serve within the forces.

Eligibility criteria

View current eligibility for Service Pupil Premium the website.

Currently a child is eligible for Service Pupil Premium if:

  • One of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces (including pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the Full Time Reserve Service)
  • They have been registered as a ‘service child’ on the school census at any point since 2016*
  • One of their parents died whilst serving in the armed forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme

On 17 December 2020 Gavin Williamson announced that from the academic year 2020/2021 individual school-level Pupil Premium allocations (including the Service Pupil Premium) will be based on pupil data gathered through the October school census. This arrangement will help schools in their planning for the next financial year. Children need to be flagged as a service child ahead of the October school census deadline and service parents need to make the school aware of their status. Service Pupil Premium cannot be claimed retrospectively.

You can read the full Ministerial Statement online.

*Ever 6 service child measure

The premium was extended, so that any pupil in Reception to Year 11, who has been flagged as a service child since the 2016 autumn school census, will continue to receive the premium (Ever 6 service child). Please see the Education & Skills Funding Agency pupil premium grant guidance for more information.

Further information on the Service Pupil Premium and current eligibility criteria