Our Pupil Premium Support
The pupil premium is additional funding received by schools for each pupil from disadvantaged families or background. It is allocated to schools based on the number of children who come from low-income families – this is defined as those who are currently known to be eligible for free school meals. It’s important to know that a pupil does not need to have a school dinner, but the parents / carers must have applied and be entitled if they wanted one.
It also includes:
pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years
children who have been looked after continuously for more than six month
First introduced in April 2011, the level of the premium in 2011-12 was £488 per pupil; it increased to £600 per pupil in 2012-13. This money is for schools to decide how to use but should be spent in order to improve educational attainment of children from less privileged backgrounds.
This is a government key education policy. It’s based on findings that show that, as a group, children who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in time have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible for FSM.
Find out more about whether your child might be eligible at http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/education-and-learning/school-transport-and-free-school-meals/apply-for-free-school-meals – even if you choose not to have a school dinner, the pupil premium will benefit the pupil and the school.
How we spend the pupil premium:
Clearly, the pupil premium has the potential to have a great impact on the attainment, and future life chances, of pupils. We need to spend this money as effectively as possible and to meet the needs of individual children rather than adopting whole-school policies that won’t necessarily work for all.
As in schools nationally, pupils entitled to free school meals tend to perform less well than others, but at Twyning, our assessment data shows that the differences are much smaller than the national picture and can vary wildly because we have so few pupils entiitled. For example,of the Year 6 pupils in 2012, those entitled to free school meals actually attained the expected level across reading, writing and maths and made the expected progress. This shows that our existing strategies work well. Some of the money will help to fund the support staff we employ – the teaching assistants in each class.
As our performance data has increased in recent years, so has the effectiveness of the support staff. Their role in class has become more targeted, to include children from low-income families, pre-dating the pupil premium initiative. It has also become more specific (for example, teaching assistants are required to work on specific learning objectives within clear time-frames) and ultimately more effective.
It’s now our job to provide even greater, targeted support for those pupils who need to benefit. Staff are aware of which children are eligible for the pupil premium and provide additional, continuous targeted support for those pupils. Teachers produce timetables detailing the different support activities: what the learning objective is, when the support will happen, who will lead the support (either the teacher or the teaching assistant) and who will benefit from the support. Pupils with entitlement to free school meals must be part of this.
Additionally, these pupils are encouraged to take up after-school clubs and other activities which enrich a pupil’s experience of school and can often turn them on to more learning.
We plan to continually explore ways to spend the money as effectively as possible and to continually monitor assessment information closely to assess what’s working best.