The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional funding to the main school budget, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children from low-income backgrounds and their wealthier peers, by ensuring that funding to tackle the disadvantaged reaches the pupils who need it most.
It is allocated to children who are eligible for Free School Meals (and since 2012 this has included those children who have been eligible for FSM at any point in the last six years, known as Ever 6 pupils), to children who are in the 'looked-after' system and children with a parent serving in the armed forces. Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit, since they are best-placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility. However, schools are held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families.
Cradley School Pupil Premium is used to support a range of programmes taught by teachers and teaching assistants. This includes national programmes and in-house target groups aimed at specific children and groups to remove barriers to learning, aiming to move children forward at an accelerated progress. The premium is also used to support children socially and emotionally by, for example, paying towards the costs of anger management and social skills classes, further potential barriers to learning. The money also part funds our ‘Children’s Champion’ - a qualified teacher who targets Pupil Premium children and other pupils with additional needs.
One way of assessing how effective the funding has been is to examine the progress these children have made academically.
To quantify expected progress, results are taken from the KS1 SATs and the optional SATs at Year 3, 4 and 5, and lastly the SATs at KS2. The Early Years Foundation Profile and the Phonics Test are not used.
Children with an Education Health Care Plan (EHC plan; previously classified as ‘statemented’) are children with significant special educational needs that can impact upon progress. School Action and School Action Plus are children who are experiencing difficulties which may hinder their progress.
We keep the progress of this cohort of pupils under termly review and use funds to respond quickly with additional support as needed.