Pupil Premium Grant Strategy for Walkington School 2016-17
The pupil premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers.
Pupil premium funding is available to:
- local-authority-maintained schools, including:
- special schools (for children with special educational needs or disabilities)
- pupil referral units (PRUs – for children who can’t go to a mainstream school)
- academies and free schools, including
- special academies (for children with special educational needs or disabilities)
- alternative provision (AP) academies (for children who can’t go to a mainstream school)
- voluntary-sector alternative provision (AP), with local authority agreement
- non-maintained special schools (NMSS – schools for children with special educational needs that the Secretary of State for Education has approved under section 342 of the Education Act 1996)
Funding for the Financial year 2016 to 2017
In the 2016 to 2017 financial year, schools will receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years:
- £1,320 for pupils in reception year to year 6
- £935 for pupils in year 7 to year 11
- Schools will also receive £1,900 for each pupil identified in the spring school census as having left local-authority care because of 1 of the following:
- a special guardianship order
- a child arrangements order
- a residence order
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At Walkington School we believe passionately in providing every child with the opportunity to thrive and succeed. It is our aim to ensure every child enters secondary school with a wide range of learning skills and a strong belief in the value of education in unlocking their own future life chances.
This ethos is wholly inclusive and based upon equal opportunity for all; we recognise that the route children take through school will be unique to them, and dependent upon an enormous range of factors both in school and beyond.
We also believe that schools should aim to overcome social disadvantage which may potentially hold children back, and we are committed to doing all we can to facilitate this. We also recognise that simply being part of any identified group does not in itself suggest a child is at significant risk of educational under-performance. We try not to label children in terms of potential or by benchmarking them against others, instead seeking ways every day to find success and enjoyment in learning.
Within these principles, and the general context in which the school operates, we believe the best way of ensuring success is to focus on excellent classroom teaching for all pupils across the school. This is reflected in strategic budget planning which seeks to maximise value for money (including PPG expenditure), and exploit our human resources in the most efficient way possible. We also fund additional programmes and resources for groups and individuals, and act in a responsive way to needs that may arise during the school year. Additional PPG funding accounts for 2-3% of the school’s annual budget, but careful planning and monitoring of this spending has a significant impact upon our outcomes. Conversely, we are not limited in our approach purely by the level of allocated funding; every year we spend in excess of our allocation to meet the needs of individuals across the school who require support.
We carefully monitor and evaluate outcomes for all pupils, paying particular attention to those we believe to be in any way vulnerable or in danger of falling ‘off track’. While attainment at Year 2 and Year 6 is only one element of what we aim to achieve, we are proud of the results gained by all our pupils over recent years. While we understand the need to measure and reduce ‘gaps’ between any of our pupil groups and their peers in school, we acknowledge that very small cohorts can sometimes make these judgements misleading. Where possible, we try and judge overall success by considering the broad outcomes for a child over time rather than simply comparing a narrow set of test scores against those of other children. We recognise that it is statistically unlikely that any children who attract additional funding will achieve the mean score for any given year group; instead, we look for any trends across cohorts and over time which may suggest that they have additional barriers related to any inherent ‘disadvantage’ in their present circumstances. We strongly believe, through close examination over time, that this is not the case, nor does any such categorisation define the outcomes of pupils at Walkington School.
Pupil Premium Budget
Barriers to Educational Achievement
With a relatively small number of Pupil Premium children, it is unhelpful for us to generalise about the barriers faced to educational achievement within our setting. Across the school, we view each child as an individual and address their needs accordingly.
In order to do this effectively, each child eligible within this group has an individual ‘PPG passport’, which is reviewed by the whole teaching team on a termly basis. The close links we have with our families ensures the school is usually well aware of the context for each individual child, and this information is shared sensitively to all relevant members of staff.
Overcoming the Barriers
At Walkington School we utilise a wide range of initiatives aimed at helping children overcome their own barriers and to ‘close the gap’ to other pupils of their age should the need arise. For some pupils, the barrier may not be directly related to their learning in class; in these cases school will still endeavour to support the family in whatever way we can.
Where appropriate, the additional PPG funding may be used to provide specific and timely support, examples of which are listed below:
- 1 to 1 tuition by a existing class teacher/TA in English and Maths
- Small Group Work supported by an additional adult
- Specific intervention programmes e.g. supporting children to overcome problems caused by Dyslexia
- Booster Classes in English and Maths delivered by a member of school staff
- Additional teacher/TA support to specific pupils/classes
- Social Language Groups
- Provision of subscription based online curriculum support
- Funding residential visits/extra curricular activities for targeted pupils
Where necessary, funding is also used to release members of staff (SENCo, Deputy Head etc), to support individual pupils. This may be in the form of:
- Preparation/liaison with outside agencies, such as EHC meetings
- To conduct assessments/observations and prepare case studies
- To track individual pupils and research ‘what works well’
- To meet regularly with parents
This is a representative, but not exhaustive, list of the strategies that may be used. As stated above, each Pupil Premium child is seen individually and the initiatives above are some of the ways we attempt to overcome any barriers they may face.
Impact of Pupil Premium
We continually monitor the progress of our children using our teacher assessment system ‘FLiC’ and via other informal assessment opportunities. It is of course almost impossible to quantify the exact impact of any given strategy given the lack of a control group and the holistic nature of learning. We therefore regularly monitor the overall progress of all Pupil Premium children individually and plan interventions accordingly. The school keeps abreast of on-going research into the effect use of additional funding, aided by the Headteacher sitting on the local Teaching School Alliance partnership panel.
School level data for the last 4 years clearly indicates that as part of the overall provision delivered to our targeted pupils, the funding has enabled our pupils to achieve well in comparison to their local and national peers:
- In 2013, 2014, and 2016 our PPG pupils attained end of KS2 results above the national average for non-PPG pupils nationally in all subjects
- In 2015, attainment in reading and maths exceeded the national average, with writing very close behind.
(NB – As a school we are very careful to publish only limited data relating to these very small cohorts. In some cases, the data for a particular year can be drawn from one single pupil; we feel it is neither helpful nor fair to any individual pupil for this data to be identifiable on our website)
Pupil Premium Review
The progress of all PPG pupils is reviewed by the whole teaching team once a term; the involvement of both the senior leaders, and present, previous and future teachers provides a broad overview of each child. It also ensures that relevant information is raised shared throughput the child’s journey through school.