Pupil Premium (PP) funding is provided to schools to address the current underlying inequalities and to close the attainment gap between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers. Pupils are eligible for this funding if they have been registered for FSM at any point in the last 6 years or if they are looked after (in care).
In March 2014, the rate of PP funding was increased to £935 per eligible student. Also, the funding for looked after students was increased to £1900 a year. In September 2016, we will have 176 students eligible for extra funding. Of these, 3 students are looked after children. As a result, The Grange School receives £202,895 in PP funding.
The school’s usage of PP spending and ability to improve attainment for its PP students is measured at the end of KS4, based on the number of PP students who obtain 5 GCSEs including English and Maths compared to non-PP students. This is also known as 'narrowing the gap'. However, under the new Progress 8 measure, the school will also be judged on what progress 8 score PP students achieve as a collective compared to non-PP students.
Following our August 2015 GCSE results, we recognised that we needed to make rapid progress with our PP attainment. Consequently, we appointed a new Head of Progress and Achievement, who was directly responsible for the results of this group. As a result, we are proud to say that PP Achievement for 5A*-C including English and Maths has increased by 15.4% in the last year. More specifically, achievement went from 25% in August 2015 to 40.4% in August 2016. This has resulted in PP students outperforming non-PP students by 2.6%. This was also the case in terms of levels of progress, with PP students making more progress than non-PP students under the new Progress 8 measure.
The reason for the rapid progress is due to the school’s pragmatic and relentless approach to narrowing the gap. In particular, by the way the Head of Progress and Achievement made the decision to inform students of their PP status and interviewed them individually to find out simply what aided their learning and what restricted their learning. Based on these interviews, it was seen that the school needed to address the lack of support students felt they had outside of the classroom to do revision and improve coursework. This was addressed by implementing a new study club that operated every afternoon after school, on Saturdays and in the holidays. During these sessions, students were also fed by the school and allowed to create a new reward system to recognise and support regular attendance along with outstanding effort. The success of this intervention is not only evident in the headline figures for the school but also in PP achievement in English, which was made up of 60% coursework. From the 2016 data, 93% of PP students made 3 levels of progress and 41% made 4 levels of progress in English.
However, after assessing last year's data and gathering feedback from PP leavers, it is clear that the most beneficial usage of spending was on the Year 11 success night in March 2016. This event involved inviting all Year 11 PP students and their parents to an evening in which each student was given personalised learning resources to help them with their upcoming revision. Teachers also attended the event to offer learning strategies and revision timetables to parents in order to help them support their child.
In order to maintain the current PP gap and to boost achievement of both groups further, the school will seek to carry on communicating with its PP students and their parents to ensure that all financial barriers to learning are overcome. As a result, the school will replicate many of its successful interventions from last year but also seek to create new ones that meet the needs of individual students. This will be achieved by having further 'success evenings' in the upcoming year, investing in more one to one tuition aimed specifically at our PP students and using the guidance of the Sutton Trust to provide reliable and effective interventions. Regular events aimed at improving the aspirations of PP students, such as university and workplace visits, will also be utilised.
In particular, over the next year, there will be a focus on improving the progress of students from across the ability range to ensure, regardless of meeting the standard of 5 A*-C GCSEs including Maths and English, all PP students make expected or above expected progress by the end of KS4.