The government believes that the pupil premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
The Pupil Premium is allocated to schools for children of statutory school age from low-income families who are known to be eligible for Free school meals (FSM) in both mainstream and non-mainstream settings : to children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months and to children whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces.
From 2012 this will also include pupils eligible for FSM at any point in the last six years (known as the Ever 6 FSM measure).
Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However we will be held accountable for how we have used the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families. From September 2012 we are required to publish online information about how we have used the Premium. This will ensure that parents and others are made fully aware of the attainment of pupils covered by the Premium and the extra support that they receive.
During the 2015/16 school year we adopted a highly individualised approach, looking at the needs of each child in a holistic way, which includes exploring and addressing wellbeing, home support and learning behaviour in addition to learning needs.
Our starting point was to create a new assessment tool, which could help to identify the barriers to learning for individual children. We then sought to address these barriers by investing in a range of tailored provision, including highly skilled specialist maths and literacy teachers, play therapy, extensive parent and family support, a specific reading intervention targeted only at pupil premium children. This was supported by staff training in key areas, such as Language for Learning and wellbeing. An individual provision plan was set up for each child to track interventions and review impact through the year.
Results showed that pupil premium children have closed the gap in reading and maths to within 2% of all children. Children currently receiving Free School Meals are now outperforming their peers in maths and reading. In writing a gap remains, although this has reduced considerably since October.
While a small number of individuals are still a concern, the programme has succeeded in re-focussing our approach to reducing disadvantage at St John’s with some real gains in attainment, underpinned by improvements in fundamental areas such as language, wellbeing and family support.
You and your child could be eligible for extra support. Click here to read more..