Pupil Premium Allocation
The pupil premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers. We have an unwavering commitment to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children through educational achievement.
Each year, the Government gives a sum of money to each school based on the number of children receiving a free school meal. This grant is called the Pupil Premium.
Funding for 2021 -22
In the 2021 to 2022 financial year, schools will receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years:
£1,345 for pupils in reception year to year 6
Schools will also receive £2,300 for each pupil identified in the spring school census as having left authority care because of one of the following:
- a special guardianship order
- a child arrangements order
- a residence order
(Taken from the DfE website)
Headteachers and school leaders can decide how to spend the funding. Funding for these pupils is managed by the virtual school head (VSH) in the local authority that looks after the child.
To view the school’s plans for Pupil Premium expenditure this year please click on the link at the bottom of this page.
Our approach at Hexham First School
Schools can make a difference
Closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers is the greatest challenge facing English schools. However, it is clear that schools can make a difference. In England, the gap has closed in both primary and secondary schools since the introduction of the Pupil Premium, and in every part of the country schools have demonstrated how great teaching and careful planning can make a huge impact on the outcomes of disadvantaged children.
Evidence can help
Evidence-informed teachers and leaders combine findings from research with professional expertise to make decisions. Taking an evidence-informed approach to Pupil Premium spending can help schools to: • Compare how similar challenges have been tackled in other schools • Understand the strength of evidence behind alternative approaches • Consider the likely cost-effectiveness of a range of approaches.
Quality teaching helps every child
Good teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. Using the Pupil Premium to improve teaching quality benefits all students and has a particularly positive effect on children eligible for the Pupil Premium. While the Pupil Premium is provided as a different grant from core funding, this financial split shouldn’t create an artificial separation from whole class teaching.
The challenge of implementation means that less is more: selecting a small number of priorities and giving them the best chance of success is a safer bet than creating a long list of strategies that becomes hard to manage.
Support middle and high attainers too
The causes and consequences of disadvantage are varied: Pupil Premium students are not a homogeneous group. Students eligible for the Pupil Premium are more likely to be low-attaining than other children. However, tackling disadvantage is not only about supporting low attainers. For example, disadvantaged students who achieve highly in primary school are much less likely than their peers to receive top grades at GCSE.
PUPIL PREMIUM MYTHS
MYTH: “Only eligible children can benefit from Pupil Premium spending”
The Pupil Premium is designed to support schools to raise the attainment of disadvantaged children. However, many of the most effective ways to do this – including improving the quality of teaching – will also benefit other groups: that is fine. Likewise, some forms of targeted academic support or wider strategies will benefit other children, including children with Special Educational Needs and Children in Need.
MYTH: “The Pupil Premium has to be spent on interventions”
There is a strong evidence base showing the impact that high quality interventions can have on the outcomes of struggling students. However, while interventions may well be one part of an effective Pupil Premium strategy, they are likely to be most effective when deployed alongside efforts to improve teaching, and attend to wider barriers to learning, such as attendance and behaviour.
MYTH: “All data is good data”
Data is valuable when it supports decision-making. For example, collecting data about the attainment and progress of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium can help schools identify trends and target additional support. It might also be helpful for schools to compare the outcomes of their eligible pupils to schools serving similar populations. The measurement and comparison of internal class or school gaps is less likely to provide useful information and isn’t required by the Department for Education or Ofsted.
MYTH: “Pupil Premium strategy can be separated from whole school strategy”
The Pupil Premium provides an important focus for prioritising the achievement of children from disadvantaged backgrounds in our education system. When it is most effective, the Pupil Premium will sit at the heart of a whole school effort, with all staff understanding the strategy and their role within it. Schools may need to consider who is primarily responsible for their Pupil Premium spend to ensure it is someone best placed to lead whole school improvements to teaching and learning.
A tiered approach to Pupil Premium spending
Quality First Teaching
Spending on improving teaching might include professional development, training and support for early career teachers and recruitment and retention. Ensuring an effective teacher is in front of every class, and that every teacher is supported to keep improving, is the key ingredient of a successful school and should rightly be the top priority for Pupil Premium spending.
Targeted Academic Support
Evidence consistently shows the positive impact that targeted academic support can have, including on those who are not making good progress across the spectrum of achievement. Considering how classroom teachers and teaching assistants can provide targeted academic support, including how to link structured one-to-one or small group intervention to classroom teaching, is likely to be a key component of an effective Pupil Premium strategy.
Wider strategies relate to the most significant non-academic barriers to success in school, including attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support. While many barriers may be common between schools, it is also likely that the specific features of the community each school serves will affect spending in this category.
Barriers to educational achievement
The barriers facing eligible pupils at Hexham First school greatly match the barriers facing the majority of pupils at our school. Starting points in Early Years are below national average although outcomes are good. Some of the children who are eligible for pupil premium also have very individual barriers to learning some of these stem from SEN needs which means that interventions here need to be targeted on an individual or small group basis.
This strategy will be reviewed in October 2022