The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011. It is allocated to schools and academies to support pupils who:
Have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years since summer 2008 (known as 'Ever 6 FSM);
- are, or have been, Looked after by the Local Authority for at least 6 months;
- are, or have been, adopted from care under the Adoption and Children Act 2002;
- have left care under a Special Guardianship or Residence Order (known as post-LAC); or,
- have parents in the armed forces.
Nationally, statistics show that children in receipt of FSM do less well than their peers in tests and exams. The aim of this money is to try to close that attainment gap by allowing the school to direct additional resources towards individual learning needs.
So what does this funding mean for our pupils at Woodlands School? It is quite obvious that there is a gap between our pupils and their mainstream peers but with the best will in the world, innovative and well targeted interventions are not going to close that attainment gap. However, that does not mean that we can use our pupils’ SEN as an excuse and ignore the premium funding and spend it as just another pot of the whole school budget. It actually means that we have to work that much harder to identify what the gaps are for our children and young people, ensuring that our young people and their families are fully prepared for life beyond Woodlands.
Premium funding does not have to be spent on an individual level and in fact research has proven that whole school interventions actually have a powerful impact on pupil progress. We go to great lengths to ensure that where there are potential gaps to learning and achievement, we put in well targeted and successful interventions; nothing is left to chance.
By identifying at a whole school level what we do to narrow each of these gaps and remove the potential barriers, we can successfully and creatively direct our funding appropriately to close the gap for our pupils and young people.
What needs to be emphasised is that the needs of our pupils and young people are highly individual and ever changing and, as such, so are the barriers to their learning and achievement. What worked one year might not be the best use of funding the next and so as a senior leadership team and governing body, we are constantly reflecting and analysing our provision to ensure that we are getting it right and that together we are moving forward and achieving the best we can in everything we do.
We are required by OFSTED to publish how much Pupil Premium money we receive and how we have chosen to spend that money and the impact it has had.
The funding per child is as follows:-
- Free School Meals (FSM) – currently funded at £1320 per pupil
- Looked After Children (LAC) - currently funded at £1900 per pupil
- Armed Forces Children (AFC) – currently funded at £300 per pupil