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 and adopted students was increased to £1900 a year. In September 2017, we except to have 44% of our students eligible for extra funding. Of these, 5 students are looked after children and two are adopted. As a result, The Grange School expects to receive £202,771 in PP funding for the 2017-2018 academic year. 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 overall Progress 8 score of PP students within the school compared to the national average Progress 8 score of Non-PP students.
Following our August 2016 GCSE results, the school was happy to report that PP achievement went from 25% in August 2015 to 47.9% in August 2016; this resulted in PP students being in line with their peers in terms of 5 A*-C and Progress 8. However, in August 2017 the school is disappointed to report The large difference between the Estimated Progress 8 measure of disadvantaged students (-1.12) and other students (-0.31) has resulted in this measure being estimated as below the national floor standard for the school (-0.61). The school invested in external courses on the new specifications, ran numerous Saturday and holiday schools for students and provided all students with extra resources, the intention being that they could take control of their learning at home. Furthermore, both the Head of English and maths delivered talks on how to revise for the new specification to parents at the annual Year 11 Success Evening. Unfortunately, these strategies did not yield the results sought, progress here was insufficient.
The disappointing results at the end of Keystage 4 can largely be linked with a lack of funding for responsive intervention for PP students and a lack of clarity over PP funding throughout the academic year. This meant the resources and interventions previously discussed, were not put in place until April 2017, whereas the year before, they took place throughout the year. This issue was immediately raised by the new Headteacher upon her appointment who felt that the amount of money available to the Head of Pupil Premium was not allocated to deliver the best value for money. In February 2017, she commissioned a PP review, conducted from within the MAT (Pupil Premium Champion). He agreed about the lack of responsive intervention funding for Pupil Premium students. From this, the MAT increased 2016-17 funding for responsive intervention from £9,000 to £26,000 in April 2017 and has committed £30,000 in 2017-18 to PP. In spite of the hard work of staff across the MAT to get this issue resolved, by the time funding was made available, it was not in time to match the success of the previous year.
Even though the results at the end of KS4 for PP students in 2017 were disappointing, there were numerous successes for our PP students. In particular, the progress of PP students in Key stage 3, who receive extra Literacy and Numeracy support have made excellent progress over the last academic year. Also, due to new initiatives set up by the new headteacher to support PP students across the school, persistent absenteeism has reduced to from 21% academic year 2015-16 to 11% (4 % non PP and 7%PP) 2016-17. PP persistent absenteeism is down from 10% to 7%. Whole school attendance has risen from 92.98% academic year 2015-16 to 94.25% academic year 2016-17. PP attendance has risen by 1.4%- 93.92
Going forward, now that the budget is clear and reflective of need, it will be invested in numerous interventions, such as the employment of a PP/G+T Coordinator, who is solely responsible for boosting the results of more-able PP students through the use of the Brilliant Club. Also, the school has since used its PP and Catch up funding to employ a new full time English tutor to work with PP students across the school. Furthermore, the school also aims to improve upon this year’s results by embedding our culture of relentless focus on the quality of teaching and learning through sustaining regular lesson drops ins and work scrutiny with routine pedagogical development in response to findings. The curriculum is now being unpicked to identify key concepts and embed knowledge and understanding with misconceptions, identified through frequent low stakes assessments, addressed. The English department have undertaken a similar exercise throughout Key Stage3 and in to Key Stage 4. Student work in books gives us confidence that this is supporting good progress, supported by the work of our literacy team.
Academy Desired Outcomes
- To ‘diminish the gap’ between The Grange’s disadvantaged students and non-disadvantaged students nationally in terms of Progress 8 scores .
- All PP students to be able to access a curriculum that supports them on their journey into further education and employment.