What is Pupil Premium?
The government allocates a sum of money to school which is called the ‘Pupil Premium’. This is to improve the educational chances of students who may find circumstances outside school challenging due to financial hardship or other issues. The four identified groups are: students who are entitled to free school meals or had been entitled in the last six years (FSM Ever 6), students who have a parent working for the armed forces (a Service child), children in local authority care (LAC) and children adopted from care (Post-LAC).
Funding for 2016/17 is £935 per FSM Ever 6 student, £1,900 per LAC and Post-LAC, £300 per Service child and will be a total minimum of £304,500. This will be spent on targeted additional support strategies and interventions resulting in every student, however financially disadvantaged, being able to:
- Improve their levels of attainment and progress
- Close attainment gaps relative to school averages
- Have full access to our curriculum
- Access our extra-curricular provision and enrichment
- Access appropriate support for their mental health and well-being
The aim is to ensure that disadvantage does not hinder potential and to monitor, evaluate and intervene.
This year there are 321 students at Meridian High School who qualify for Pupil Premium funding. Although all individual students and their circumstances are unique we have identified several potential barriers which, if overcome, will close the gap in attainment between Pupil Premium and their non-qualifying peers.
- Lower than average abilities on entry in literacy and numeracy: these prevent progress, not only in core subjects, but in the wider curriculum
- Lack of access to literature in the home environment
- Nutrition: lack of food and/or poor dietary choices
- Low levels of self-esteem, mental health and wellbeing
- Low aspirations and motivation to succeed academically
- Lack of skills and knowledge of how to approach learning outside of the classroom.
Our strategies are designed to overcome the identified barriers over time to ensure students can progress and be successful academically and socially in school and in their future lives.
From September 2016, we have increased the capacity to ‘Close the Gap’ with our provision being driven through a focus on ‘academic progress’ and ‘student support’. These areas are led by our Heads of House: Mr J Gardner (North), Miss N Cooper (South), Mrs N Bradley (East) Mr J Spark (West). If you would like to find out more about our Pupil Premium provision, Mrs Watson (Senior Assistant Headteacher) would be pleased to hear from you.
We will publish the impact of the strategy for 2016/17 by the end of each November 2017 following the results the previous summer’s results. This review exercise will help to determine the strategy for 2017/18 which will be published in due course.
Year 7 Literacy & Numeracy catch-up premium
The Literacy and Numeracy Catch Up Premium is an additional fund to support year 7 pupils who did not achieve the expected standing in reading or maths at the end of Key Stage 2. Historically, this has meant students failing to achieve level 4 in either area. Due to changes in assessment and reporting at Key Stage 2, in 2016 to 2017 schools will receive the same overall amount of year 7 catch-up premium funding they received in 2015 to 2016, adjusted to reflect the percentage change in the size of the year 7, based on October 2016 census. In the last academic year, we received £15.000 We are due to receive the funding for this academic year in February 2017.
We plan to use the funding to maintain the provisions, interventions and improvements to resources we have used in the previous academic year. The strategies have worked well in improving rates of progression in the previous year 7 cohort making them one of the fastest improving year groups in the school.
The catch up funding was used in a number of areas. Firstly, to ensure quality first provision we increased staffing in the core areas of maths and English to enable us to dedicate increased curriculum time to these subjects and smaller class sizes.
We timetable discrete reading lessons in our library utilising the Accelerated Reading programme to differentiate and challenge all levels of readers. In addition, we employ a full time librarian who curates the library stocks to meet the needs and interests of our students and we have invested in books that engage reluctant readers. We have used the funding to improve the fabric of the library making it a comfortable and inviting space for students in their reading lessons and at break and lunchtimes.
HLTA in literacy, HLTA SALT, and TA with strong mathematical skills strengthen support in the areas of literacy and numeracy. Investment in CPD for the TAs using MPTA strategies further increases their impact with our less confident and independent learners. Catch up programmes include Sound Training, Ruth Miskin's Fresh Start Phonics and Lexia are used on targeted groups.
CATs testing as part of our transition model enables planning for the curriculum tailored to the incoming year 7 cohort and ensures our teaching groups are mixed ability which is evidenced to benefit lower and middle ability students especially in the area of mathematics.