What is the Pupil Premium?
Pupil Premium is an allocation of government funding that is given to schools to specifically assist children who fall into at least one of the following groups:
- They are currently eligible for free school meals (FSM)
- They have been eligible within the last six years for FSM
- They have been identified as a Looked after Child (LAC)
In 2019/20 the amount that each school receives for pupils within these groups is £935 per student. This money is specifically designed to help us to raise the achievement level of the students in these groups who have previously been identified as being disadvantaged through economic hardship. Looked After Children and those adopted from care under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and children who have left care under a Special Guardianship or Residence Order are allocated £1900. We also receive a premium for students whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces. This is currently £300 per student per year. This money is specified to help with the emotional and social well‐being of these pupils.
What can we spend this money on?
Schools are free to spend the money as we believe is most appropriate to assist the groups of students identified. It is understood that schools are best placed to identify what will work better for the students within their care, where different strategies might be more effective than others. However, we are accountable for how we have decided to spend the additional funding and for how effective our plans have been to help the groups of students achieve. Please see our Pupil Premium three-year spending strategy and evaluation for information on how much money we were allocated last year, and how we spent it to help the progress, achievement and well-being of these groups of students.
At Shoreham Academy we track how pupil premium money is spent which allows us to identify successful interventions to ensure that any gaps in progress or attainment are being closed.
Shoreham Academy has always invested a dedicated amount of school budget to improve the life chances of its more disadvantaged students and welcomes the focus that Pupil Premium brings. The Pupil Premium Champion Team has undertaken a great deal of work since 2015/2016 to bring Pupil Premium into focus, and has utilised the team’s knowledge to run in-house training sessions for all staff on how to maximise the impact of Pupil Premium funding to raise attainment for students. Evaluation of the spending of this funding can be seen on the attached documents below.
What are the main barriers to educational achievement that disadvantaged students face and how can schools best support them?
The Education Endowment Fund (EEF) has a website that looks at as much research as possible on making a difference to pupils’ progress. Their work is widely recognised as being a recommended and outstanding source of information. Their toolkit can be used to provide guidance on strategies that are shown to be effective. Several other institutions have also researched the challenges facing students from disadvantaged families. These publications include reports from: The Sutton Trust (Cracking the Code), The Fair Education Alliance, The Social Mobility Commission, Tackling Child Poverty (West Sussex):
Many of the report’s findings are common knowledge among schools. They include statements that are relevant to Shoreham Academy:
- Low income students make on average half a GCSE grade less progress in Att 8 subjects.
- Low income White British groups make the least progress.
- The progress gap is widest in the South East and narrowest in London.
- Pupils’ achievement is linked to commitment to independent study and low income parents are less likely to be able to help with this given the more complex secondary curriculum.
- SEND and mental health are particularly likely to adversely affect progress. These factors are also more likely to affect low income pupils.
- Low income students are four times more likely to be permanently excluded.
- Academically enriching activities may help to support attitudes to school and learning but low income pupils are less likely to participate.
- Disadvantaged students are four times less likely to attend a high tariff university than their peers.
- The gap in literacy and numeracy levels at the end of primary education is 8.2 months.
- Pupils achieve less well in schools which neglect to prioritise KS3 progress.
- The reports encourage schools to invest in best practice, which includes the following points:
- Promote quality first teaching to ensure literacy and numeracy gaps are closed.
- Provide students with a broad educational experience.
- Promote skills that enable self-supported study.
- Low income pupils will benefit from peer group effects in outstanding schools.
- Attainment will frequently precede aspirations.
- Ensure good attendance records of disadvantaged students.
- Promote the high profile of disadvantaged students.
- Pupil progress is highest in outstanding schools with high expectations.
By referring to research undertaken by the authors of these publications and by regularly referring to research published by the EEF, we are confident that our planning for the removal of barriers for disadvantaged students is effective. Strategies from previous academic years are also evaluated to ensure that resources are deployed where they can have maximum impact.
The key intervention and support strategies used to close the gap at Shoreham Academy can be found in the attached documents below.
The next review of the Pupil Premium Strategy will be carried out in September January 2020