Since the new regulations, beginning in September 2012, all schools have to provide information about Pupil Premium and how it is used. Pupil Premium is additional funding given to schools for 'disadvantaged' children. In our case, the money given to us relates to those children in school who are on (or, who have ever been on) free school meals, and looked after children. This year, we received £7920 of Pupil Premium money.
A report published in May 2012 by Durham University, commissioned by the Sutton Trust, greatly influenced our decision on how the money should be used.
The report states on page 2 that, "simply spending money on children from less affluent backgrounds will not necessarily improve their learning or aspirations. There is no direct link between spending on schools and outcomes for pupils. Extensive research in this area shows that it is a complex issue, indicating that the way the money is spent is crucial." The report states that their, "solution to the challenge of linking spending with learning is to focus on what the evidence indicates is effective in promoting teaching and learning." The report found that effective measures included:
1. Early intervention
2. One to one tutoring
3. Effective feedback
4. Peer tutoring (collaborative learning)
We discussed these findings and came to the conclusion that we could use this Pupil Premium money, effectively, by increasing our teaching staff thereby offering more individual attention, identifying needs earlier and giving effective feedback. As a result, we have increased our Teaching Assistant staff to 2.1, and our Teaching staff to 3.1. This will help to provide extra support to these children. We have also invested in Lexia, a new online reading and spelling resource. Children can work on this at school and at home.
We will continue to monitor progress with all our children, paying particular attention to those receiving Pupil Premium funding.