What is the Pupil Premium Grant?
In 2011/2012 schools were allocated Pupil Premium (PP) funding to address inequalities between pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) or had been looked after continuously for six months, and their wealthier peers by ensuring that the funding reaches the pupils who need it most.
From April 2012 the Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) was extended to include pupils who had been eligible for FSM at any point in the last six years. Additionally, our pupils who are Children in Care are entitled to Pupil Premium Plus funding along with children adopted from Local Authority Care.
We are currently funded at the following rate:
- £955 per pupil of secondary-school age
- £310 per pupil whose parent(s) are currently serving in the Armed Forces
- £2345 per pupil for looked-after children who:
- have been looked after for 1 day or more;
- are adopted;
- leave care under a Special Guardianship order or a Residence Order.
Strood Academy has the freedom to allocate the PP grant as it deems necessary to raise attainment and broaden aspirations for disadvantaged or other vulnerable students. For looked-after pupils allocation of funding and the expenditure is managed and allocated by the local authority who that pupil is under.
What are our aims for the Pupil Premium Grant?
The aim of the Pupil Premium is to identify and implement strategies that help to increase social mobility and reduce the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged pupils nationally. We have placed a strong emphasis on securing foundations in literacy and numeracy as we believe that our disadvantaged pupils require most support in these key areas. Furthermore, we believe that strong literacy and numeracy are crucial for preparing children for life beyond school.
Our education objectives as a result of the Pupil Premium Grant are:
- To provide targeted, personalised support to improve the attainment and life chances of disadvantaged pupils;
- The progress of disadvantaged children is in line with those from more privileged backgrounds so that the attainment gap is no more than 10%;
- To ensure that disadvantaged students make at least good progress during their time at the Academy;
- To ensure that the strategies that we implement positively impact the attainment and achievement of disadvantaged pupils;
- To ensure that the interventions are value for money;
- To encourage parents/ carers to apply for free school meals where pride, stigma or changing circumstances may act as a barrier;
- To increase parental engagement;
- To continually raise staff awareness of the potential barriers to learning for FSM pupils and our responsibility we have towards these disadvantaged pupils;
- To focus on improving numeracy and literacy skills;
- To ensure rigorous tracking of FSM pupil progress with interventions when pupils fall behind to ensure that they make good progress;
- To continually improve the Academy’s school assessment procedures;
- To support EAL students to be successful at the Academy; PPG is used alongside the Year 7 catch up Premium to support students who did not meet the expected standards in year 6.
- To continue to closely monitor pupil attendance and use a range of strategies to improve attendance rates for these pupils.
Who benefits from the Pupil Premium Grant?
At Strood Academy, we ensure that the Pupil Premium Grant has the most benefit for those with the greatest disadvantage. Our intention is to build capacity and maximise our impact.
What barriers do pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium Grant face?
The barriers and challenges disadvantaged pupils face are complex and varied- there is no single difficulty faced by all. However, we have identified several barriers that we believe are particularly relevant to our disadvantaged children in our context.
- Attendance – attendance below 95% has a negative impact on student progress. Persistent absence (below 90%) can seriously damage a student’s chance of future success. This is a significant barrier to learning for many disadvantaged students at the academy.
- Literacy – a significant proportion of students join the academy with low literacy levels, especially reading comprehension, which prevents students from accessing the curriculum and becoming a successful adult.
- Numeracy – a low level of numeracy on entry to the academy is also a significant barrier to learning for many of our disadvantaged students.
- Welfare – a significant proportion of our students need a range of support to help them address issues (social, emotional, family issues), which prevent them from making good progress in school.
- Aspirations – due to the selective nature of education in Kent, this and other factors such as lack of cultural capital mean that many of our students join us with low self-esteem and lack the knowledge, experiences and ambition when making choices about their future as featured in the Academy Performance Agreement.
The effect of the academy closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will impact on a wide range of our students here at The Leigh Academy, not just those classed as disadvantaged. Academy closure will have impacted on students from different groups causing gaps in knowledge and skills across the curriculum;
- Those identified for catch up in year seven 2019/2020; as the full programme was not completed
- Disadvantaged students; as access to resources, parental capacity for support, motivation and work ethic may be a barrier
- SEND students; as access to resources and support may be a barrier
- Academically vulnerable; as the lack of school structure, parental capacity for support, motivation and work ethic may be a barrier.
- Those identified for catch up in year seven 2020/2021
How do we decide how to spend the Pupil Premium Grant?
In deciding how to use our Pupil Premium Grant, we draw upon the following sources:
- Sutton Trust report: “School Funding and Pupil Premium 2019″
- Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning Toolkit
- Research on disadvantaged pupils and the vocabulary gap
- Our combined professional experience of what works best
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