What is the Service Pupil Premium?

The Department for Education introduced the Service Pupil Premium (SPP), which is applicable only in England, in April 2011 in recognition of the specific challenges children from Service families face and as part of the commitment to delivering the Armed Forces Covenant.

State schools, academies and free schools in England, which have children of service families in school years Reception to Year 11, can receive the SPP funding. It is designed to assist the school in providing the additional support that these children may need and is currently worth £335 per Service child who meets the eligibility criteria.

Further information:

Service Pupil Premium FAQs

Many of you have contacted us with questions about SPP, so we published a Frequently Asked Questions factsheet.

In it we share we answer your questions, share information and provide advice on getting the most for your child from SPP.

Service Pupil Premium RAF FAQs 2023

Eligibility criteria

Pupils attract the SPP if they meet the following criteria:

  • 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 a school census at any point in the last 6 years, even if the parent has left the Armed Forces (Ever 6 service child measure this can be claimed for six years after leaving or until end of year 11 whichever is sooner)
  • 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
  • one of their parents is in the Armed Forces of another nation and is stationed in England

The purpose of the Service Pupil Premium

Eligible schools receive the SPP 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.

Examples of how SPP has been used can be found in the Best Practice guide produced by the MOD.

How Service Pupil Premium differs from the Pupil Premium

The SPP is there for schools to provide mainly pastoral support for service children, whereas the Pupil Premium was introduced to raise attainment and accelerate progress within disadvantaged groups.

Schools should not combine SPP with the main Pupil Premium funding and the spending of each premium should be accounted for separately.

More information for teachers and school staff is available on GOV.UK or contact Defence Children’s Services by email: [email protected] .

Support for Service children in the Devolved Nations

The devolved nations all support Service children in different ways – see our comparison table for an introduction.