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News

Pupil Premium

The government provides additional funding to schools to help close the gaps in attainment between students who are entitled to free school meals (FSM) or have been at some point in the last six years (FSM6). This is called Pupil Premium funding. Children who are looked after (CLA) are also entitled to Pupil Premium funds.

Schools are free to decide the best use of the money, as we are judged to be in the best place to assess what additional provision could, and should, be made for each student.  This is monitored rigorously by the school’s leadership and governance, and externally by the local authority and OFSTED.

We are committed to the government’s drive to narrow and then close the gap between these groups of students by removing barriers to learning and supporting their families. The barriers faced by our students include lack of opportunity for taking part in certain activities that involve charges to families, weaker attainment through the lack of equipment or lack of opportunity. We aim to raise the attainment of all students, regardless of background or prior attainment, to enable them to progress to the university, apprenticeship, or training of their choice.

The accounting of this additional funding is divided into targeted and disaggregated spending. Targeted spending is a personalised approach used to fund specific resources or strategies to allow or promote engagement, learning, and well-being of individual students. We are proud of the broad way we have used targeted funding to support students, for example with ingredients for catering, resources for ICT and Hair and Beauty, tutoring in mathematics, attending educational visits for examination groups, and providing subject-specific revision resources to name but a few.

Disaggregated spending is where the cost of a resource provided for pupil premium and non-pupil premium students is split between the two categories on a pro rata basis. Consequently, the pupil premium is partially funding the interventions listed in the map and table below. The funding map also includes the Year 7 catch up funding which is given to secondary schools for students who achieved below a level 4 in either English or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2.

The Pupil Premium Strategy is reviewed annually by the leadership team and the link member of the Governing Body.

Percentage of students who are pupil premium in each year 2016-17

Year 7

75%

Year 8

54%

Year 9

53%

Year 10

58%

Year 11

49%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment of Impact

We use case studies to demonstrate the impact of the funding on the engagement and progress of individual students. Since we do not want to make staff or students identifiable we will not publish this information, however, these are reviewed by internal reviews and external inspectors (Herts for Learning; OFSTED).

Academic outcomes, judged by progress towards aspirational targets and compared with national averages, provide evidence of pupil premium and non-pupil premium attainment. It is our aim to continue to narrow and then close the gap that commonly exists across the country.

In all years across the school we rigorously track and monitor the progress of all students and groups of students, and put in place intervention to support those not making sufficient progress. For pupil premium students, we compare the progress with non-pupil premium students and we strive to close the gap, while at the same time, raising standards for all students. All spending is evaluated for impact and decisions regarding future spending are made based on the value for money that each intervention offers.

Our practices in attempting to close the gap were praised in the recent Local Authority Review and by OFSTED (May 2014) which said ‘support for these students is increasingly effective and teachers know the individual needs of these students well.’ Our most recent OFSTED inspection in June 2016 stated that ‘support for disadvantaged (pupil premium) students is effective. The pupil premium funding has been used to provide a wide variety of extra opportunities’.

We were extremely proud to have continued to close the gap between the attainment of our pupil premium students and the attainment of other students in English, Maths, the capped 8 average point score, and in particular, in closing the gap completely in the 5 A*-C including English and Maths headline measure in 2015. In 2016 the progress of our high prior attainment students eligible for pupil premium was in the top 1% nationally. The progress of pupil premium was slightly below the progress of non-pupil premium students (Progress 8 -0.17 compared with non-pupil premium students’ Progress 8 0.12), but above the national average for pupil premium students. However, we strive to close that gap completely once again.

 

Key area

Action/Intervention

Evaluation/Future actions

Progress tracking

We carefully collect and analyse student progress periodically through the academic year, before putting in place personalised interventions to support progress.

Meetings are held with students and parents who are not working at the expected levels to identify and provide further support.

To help analyse the data we have invested in SISRA to support staff in identifying needs and trends.

The use of data to identify needs will be evaluated to support closing the gap

Improving teaching and learning

This year we have joined PiXL (Partners in Excellence) who have supported staff development through their meetings and training. A number of staff and governors have also undertaken specialist training focused on supporting disadvantaged students

Impact of staff training is evaluated in a number of different ways, including self-evaluation, observation, student progress, and standards.

 

Staff

Part of the pupil premium funding is put towards staffing costs, particularly in the inclusion, and support staff to enable disadvantaged SEN and EAL students to make greater progress.

Methods of evaluating the impact of staff is detailed above

Future development is considered on identification of the needs of the disadvantaged students in each cohort

Curriculum

Subject areas have purchases resources to support their curriculum to deliver high quality lessons, and allow all students to make progress by differentiating the activities and resources.

Other examples are to purchase catering ingredients and music lessons for students studying those subjects at KS4.

Staff are constantly reviewing the impact of their resources and researching availability of new resources to support accelerated progress.

Literacy and numeracy support

A recent analysis showed that disadvantaged students arrive with a reading age more than 2 years lower than other students.

We have invested in the accelerated reader software, which is now being used daily as part of our private reading scheme.

We have a range of literacy intervention programmes, including reading buddies and a resident author.

All students have reading tests annually from Year 7 to 6th form. Data is analysed to track improvements. Students who have intervention are re-tested more often to demonstrate the impact of specific interventions.

Attendance

There is a strong correlation between attendance and attainment which has been demonstrated nationally and with our own school data. Attendance is monitored regularly and action taken early within the school. Meetings with the AIO take place and referrals are made for students not responding to internal interventions. Rewards are given for those with the best attendance

A breakfast club has been set up providing a free breakfast to any disadvantaged student from 8am.

Regular monitoring of attendance takes place internally and is a focus of the LA action group and the school governors.

Over the last two years the whole school attendance has improved to be in line with the national average. We are continuing to narrow the gap between disadvantaged students and others.

Alternative provision

For students who cannot be supported within a mainstream environment, we buy provision that is better suited to their needs.

Ongoing monitoring take place to ensure that the provision is meeting the students’ needs academically and pastorally.

Raising standards

The vast majority of interventions and strategies are aimed at raising standards. Opportunities to attend homework club, listen to motivational speakers, work 1-1 or in small groups with tutors and experts in their field, taking part in raising aspirations and careers activities are all examples, which support those already listed above.

Membership to PiXL (Partners in Excellence) has given us access to a network of like-minded schools who support us in all areas of raising standards.

Each activity/event is evaluated in terms of impact and value for money. This is considered when planning the following year’s activities.

Student support

Our inclusion centre supports individuals with academic and non-academic issues. Pupil premium funding has bought resources, contributed to staffing costs, and supported the inclusion rabbits.

Ongoing evaluations assess the impact of each intervention and inform future practice.

Supporting families

Families have been supported through purchasing items such as uniform, ICT hardware, and music lessons. Students in exam years have also received exam stationary and revision resources.

We continue to assess how much of the budget is spent on each student and give them opportunities to have items that parents would buy if they could afford them.

Educational psychology

We continue to use a psychologist to support students through Year 11, meeting with them, their teachers, and their families at a series of points through the year.

Statistical analysis suggested that this had a huge impact on the attainment of students working with the psychologist and so provided good value for money. We are continuing with this work in 2016-17.

Educational opportunities

We ensure that our pupil premium students have access to educational visits by funding them either entirely, or in the case of international educational visits, by part payment. 

This has allowed students access to courses such as drama and dance that they would not be able to access if they could not travel to see shows. This is a very important use of the funding that we will continue to prioritise.