Pupil Equity Fund: national operational guidance 2022

Guidance to help schools plan how they will most effectively spend their Pupil Equity Funding (PEF) allocation.

Pupil Equity Funding Allocation

How much is it?

Publicly funded primary, secondary and special schools will receive an increased £1,225 in 2022/23 for each child in P1 to S3, or equivalent, who is registered for free school meals under national eligibility criteria. The allocations are fixed across four years, providing clarity to support strategic planning over that period.

The 2022/23 Pupil Equity Funding allocations can be found here:

Schools: Pupil attainment: closing the gap

How is it allocated?

Pupil Equity Funding is allocated to schools on the basis of the estimated number of children and young people in P1-S3 registered for free school meals (FSM) under the national eligibility criteria. The 2022/23 funding allocation has been calculated using the most recently available Healthy Living Survey which surveyed the take up of FSM from 2020 and Pupil Census data from 2021 and is based on:

  • The estimated number of P1-P3 pupils who would be registered for free school meals using the national eligibility criteria. This was done by taking the proportion of pupils registered for FSM in primary schools in 2014 and then applying those to the 2021 school rolls for P1 to P3.
  • The number of P4-P7 and S1-3 pupils who are registered for FSM.
  • The estimated number of special school pupils in the P1-S3 age range registered for FSM.
  • The calculation methoduses 2018 Healthy Living Survey registration rates for Glasgow, and 2019 rates for Inverclyde and selected schools in South Ayrshire, to mitigate any impact from variations in local free school meal eligibility.

The use of FSM as an indicator of need should not promote overly rigid and prescriptive use of the fund. Headteachers and teachers should use professional judgement when deciding how funds are targeted to most effectively improve outcomes for children and young people affected by poverty in their schools and communities.

Funding for 2022/23 will be paid by the Government to local authorities by means of a ring-fenced grant which will clearly indicate the amounts that should be allocated directly to each school. Local authorities will be responsible for confirming arrangements for draw down at school level.


Email: scottishattainmentchallenge@gov.scot

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