What is the Pupil Premium Grant (PPG)?
The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011. It is additional funding given to publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.
The Pupil Premium Grant provides funding for two policies:
- Raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils & closing the gap with their peers
- Supporting children and young people with parents in the regular armed forces
It is allocated to schools from central government to support specific groups of children who may be vulnerable to under-achievement. The funding is allocated to Local Authorities and the amount received by each school is dependent on the number of pupils from Reception to Year 6 who are eligible for free school meal (FSM), those who are Looked After by the Local Authority (LAC) and those who have parents in the armed services (Service Children-SC). From April 2012 the coverage of the Pupil Premium was widened to include those pupils eligible for FSM at any point in the last six years (Ever 6 FSM) and for those pupils eligible as Service Children in the last three years (Ever 3 Service Child). The service premium was further extended so that in 2016 to 2017, any pupil who had been flagged as a service child since 2011 continued to receive the premium (‘Ever 6’ Service Child). This included those in receipt of a child pension from the Ministry of Defence.
From April 2014, the Pupil Premium was extended to included children adopted from care, or who left care under a Special Guardianship Order on or after 30 December 2005 or who left care under a Residence Order on or after 14 October 1991.
From the financial year 2014 to 2015, the grant allocation for Looked After Children (LAC) was no longer managed by schools. The funds were managed by the Designated School Head, in the local authority that looked after those children. (Each local authority has their own policy on the allocation of funds to schools for looked after children.) In Kent, schools could apply to the Virtual Schools Head for Pupil Premium Plus funding using the Pupil Premium Planning Tool. It was made clear that funding would only be provided to meet the needs identified in a high-quality plan in the Pupil Education Plan (PEP) meeting with clear quantitative targets for improvement, underpinned by well-targeted support. Virtual School Kent stipulated that the Pupil Premium Plus must be used to close the gap and for realising potential for children in the areas of: academic achievement and progress and/or inclusion (by reducing internal and external exclusion).
Schools are free to choose how to spend the Pupil Premium but will be held accountable for how they use it to support children. Schools are required to report on how they have used the Pupil Premium and the impact this has had on the achievement of pupils.
From 2012, schools were required to publish online information about how they have used the Premium. This will ensure that parents and others are fully aware of the attainment of children covered by the Premium and the extra support that they receive.
St Katharine’s uses this funding to direct expenditure to these pupils. Our governing body and senior leadership team regularly monitor:
- The attainment of the pupils who attract the funding
- The progress made by these pupils
- The gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers
We continually review, reflect, take action and monitor impact to strive to provide the best possible outcomes for our pupil premium pupils.
Ofsted inspectors report on how schools’ use of this funding affects the attainment of these pupils.
How do we support Pupil Premium Pupils (PPP)?
The barriers and challenges faced by our disadvantaged & service children are complex and varied- there is no single difficulty faced by all.
At St Katharine’s we monitor all pupil’s progress continuously. Academic attainment is tracked and the well-being, learning behaviour and progress of every pupil is discussed with the Additional Educational Needs Coordinator (AENCO) at termly pupil progress meetings. These meetings are used to identify the current needs of each pupil, evaluate the impact of support given and plan future support based on the individual pupils’ specific academic and personal development needs.
Nearly all of our Pupil Premium allocation is aimed at accelerating progress to ensure children make good or better progress from their starting points and achieve at least age-related expectations in reading, writing and maths. (In reception the focus is on ensuring pupils reach age related expectations in Communication & Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social & Emotional Development, then in literacy & maths.) Some funding is used to support pupils identified as being potentially able, gifted or talented.
Research evidence (Sutton Trust toolkit), has shown that effective feedback is the most significant teaching approach which ‘closes the gap’ between under achieving pupils and their peers. The school’s marking policy was reviewed with staff this year. In addition, literacy, numeracy, science and SEN coordinators have systematically reviewed the marking and feedback given to pupils through book scrutinies. Strengths and areas for development were fed-back individually to staff to support their professional development and staff meetings on best practice have supported effective implementation of the policy. On-going staff training and development is also key to raising the attainment of all our pupils including disadvantaged pupils.
Research has shown that disadvantaged children often have difficulties such as weak language and communication skills. This puts them at a disadvantage when they start school as they are sometimes not as able to express and explain themselves as well. In turn this can affect the ideas they have for writing. One of the ways we have tackled this is to invest in the programmes Speech Link & Language Link which enable gaps in children’s speech and understanding of language to be quickly identified and strategies or interventions to be put in place to support them.
Disadvantaged pupils can have other barriers to face. There may be complex family issues or additional pressures that affect the well-being of disadvantaged pupils and their ability of to flourish. Sometimes disadvantaged pupils experience a lack of confidence & do not see themselves as successful. Some funding is used to support the wellbeing, social, emotional and physical/sensory development of our pupils. We have a dedicated Home-School Link Coordinator and Additional Needs Coordinator who help can help families to improve lateness and attendance, provide pastoral support & counselling for pupils and access additional support for families from outside agencies such as Early Help. Some funding is used to enable pupils to access enrichment opportunities, such as trips and clubs, by subsidising the cost of activities or resources that they might not otherwise be able to afford.