The Government believes that funding for Disadvantaged Pupils, 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 wealthier peers, by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
The amount received is dependent on the number of children who are eligible and have claimed for Free School Meals (FSM) at any time in the last six years. All schools are required to report on the amount of funding and how this is being used. In addition, children whose parents work in the Forces or Children in Care also receive a grant. Schools have the freedom to spend the additional funding in a way they think will best support the raising of attainment for the most vulnerable pupils.
In 2021/2022 we will invest pupil premium funds in four main areas:
Both in the training of teachers and through enabling flexible and/or personalised support teaching; which we are taking a new emphasis upon under our new Sponsor. This is because evidence published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) shows teaching is the biggest influence on pupil progress and attainment.
Find out more here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/tools
The ability to read is proven to be seminal in success in all areas of education as well as key to an independent adult life, with the Institute of Fiscal Studies confirming that the disadvantaged benefit most from reading.
With many pupils at the academy not reading at their chronological age we have introduced the tracking of reading ages, and new initiatives to ensure that all pupils read effectively, as well introducing Drop Everything and Read sessions, the Read, Write Inc programme, and Reading Reconsidered pedagogical approaches across the Academy.
For more on the link between reading, overcoming disadvantage and economic independence refer to the IFS study here: https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/6624
We will also use the Pupil Premium to allow us to give all pupils a strong start the day for learning, by providing nutritious breakfasts to all our learners. This is because recent research by the EEF has shown that breakfast clubs have a significant impact on closing deprivation and attainment gaps.
This we do through our Reach Your Peak programme, which works specifically with our able disadvantaged pupils, providing them with mentoring experiences, and introduces them to careers, university and professional opportunities.