In 2011/12 the Government launched the Pupil Premium funding allocation to schools.
This money is given to schools based on the numbers of pupils in the school who are eligible for Free School Meals (FSM). From 2012/13 it was expanded to include all children who have been eligible for FSM within the last 6 years. There is also an allocation for children who are in the care of the Local Authority.
Our Strategy Statement, based upon a three-year plan but reviewed each year, sets out how we plan to spend that money in the most effective and efficient way, and the termly impact report shows how effective the strategies used have been in diminishing the difference between the education of those pupils deemed 'disadvantaged' and those 'non-disadvantaged'. We also compile case studies of our children, sharing their successes and looking at what we can do to support them further.
The money that we receive is used to address the challenges and barriers to learning that some of our children may face. These challenges may be due to mental, social or emotional need or relate specifically to academic needs. Sometimes, the barrier to accessing a more fulfilling experience at school is purely financial. In some cases, our children eligible for the Pupil Premium Grant, may also be on the Special Educational Needs register and therefore need additional support for specific learning needs. Therefore, it is essential that we have plenty of joined up thinking in how we support our children to reach their potential socially, emotionally, mentally and academically.
There are many ways in which we can do this. Mrs Walker, our Inclusion Practitioner, works closely with Mrs Cooper, our Pupil Premium Lead, Mrs Helyar, our SENDCO, and class teachers and teaching assistants to discuss provision and what resources and strategies can be utilised to close any gaps in attainment and ensure that ALL of our pupils have the chance to succeed. Sometimes, small group interventions, led by both teachers and TAs, may be beneficial to work on core literacy and maths skills, whereas some of our funding has also been used for therapies, such as Drawing and Talking, Lego, Cognitive Behavioural and Play - all of these are useful in supporting our children socially, emotionally and mentally so that they are in a more positive and happy state of mind to learn in school. The PPG may also be used to enable access to school trips, wraparound care and clubs, all of which further support the children's - and families' wellbeing.
Pupil Premium is a standing agenda item on our School Development governing body committee and is discussed at all full governors meetings. Our Pupil Premium link governor, Karen Smythe, leads the challenge to ensure that the money is being managed well and utilised for the most positive impact on our vulnerable pupils.