Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium is an amount of money that is given to schools in addition to their delegated budget, to address the current underlying inequalities between children who are eligible for Free School Meals and their wealthier peers who are not. The Pupil Premium is allocated to children from low income families who are currently known to be eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) or who have been eligible at any point within the last six years (known as the Ever 6 measure) and to children who have been Looked After by the Local Authority continuously for more than six months.


Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However, we are held accountable by Ofsted for how we have used the additional funding to support pupils from low income families. We are required to publish online information about how we have used the Premium. This will ensure that parents and others are made fully aware of the attainment of pupils covered by the Pupil Premium and the extra support that they receive.


In relation to the current academic year, schools must publish: 


1. Details of how the pupil premium allocation was spent (see intended spend below)

2. Information on the impact of that expenditure on eligible and other pupils (see intended spend below)

3. The amount of the school’s pupil premium allocation 

4. A summary of the main barriers to educational achievement faced by eligible pupils at the school 

5. How the pupil premium allocation is to be spent to address those barriers and the reasons for that approach 

6. How the school is to measure the impact and effect of its expenditure of the pupil premium allocation (see intended spend below)

7. The date of the school’s next review of its pupil premium strategy 


1. Details of how the pupil premium allocation was spent 

(see intended spend below)


2. Information on the impact of that expenditure on eligible and other pupils 

(see intended spend below)


3. The amount of the school’s pupil premium allocation 

The total we will spend on the initiatives and programmes outlined in our intended spend plan in 2019-20 is £57,019. Our key investment is in teaching, which we see as the most effective tool we have for raising the achievement of all pupils; being able to afford teachers and learning support assistants. A significant part of our work is around developing an inclusive culture for learning; one that promotes children at the heart of their learning through an understanding of how to be successful. We also invest in giving targeted children opportunities to help them overcome the barriers to learning that economic disadvantage can bring.


4. What are the barriers to achievement faced by ‘disadvantaged’ pupils at Robertswood? 

Nationally, pupils eligible for Pupil Premium achieve less well than others at school. Research shows that economic disadvantage is a problem for children’s development before they even get to school, so that on average pupils living in poverty are nine months behind others by the age of three. Why is this? What barriers to learning might children from lower income families face? 

· Access to resources for learning: Less money means less access to resources such as books, toys and holidays. ‘Disadvantaged’ pupils may have had fewer opportunities to build general knowledge and experience. 

· Access to resources for wellbeing: Poverty reduces families’ access to resources and choices around key things like diet and housing. This can have an impact on children’s health, wellbeing and development and thus become a barrier to achievement in school. 

· Aspiration: Aspiration can be an issue for children from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds, if they do not grow up with role-models who have been successful at school and in work. We have seen potentially very able pupils disassociate from success at school, because they don’t relate to it in their broader lives. 

· Stress & executive function skills: Executive function skills are those that involve higher-order thinking; things like controlling impulses and managing emotions, concentrating, prioritising tasks, reflecting on ones’ performance and remembering more abstract facts and ideas. Skills such as these are crucial to success in school. Stress is bad for executive function. It causes higher-order parts of the brain to close down and diverts energy to more basic survival mechanisms. This is often called the ‘fight or flight’ response. The day-to-day insecurities of life in poverty can cause children long-term stress. At Robertswood a number of our ‘disadvantaged’ families are living in poor quality, insecure housing, or coping with physical and mental ill-health, or dealing with crime, violence and substance misuse. Regular exposure to these stresses in childhood can inhibit early development, leaving children with both academic and behavioural problems. At Robertswood the majority of children who present with significant emotional and behavioural problems are eligible for Pupil Premium. 

· Sense of agency: Children growing up in poverty may experience life as a series of volatile situations over which neither they nor their caregivers have any control. Thus, they may fail to develop a conception of themselves as free individuals capable of making choices and acting on them to shape their lives. Instead, life can be about reacting to crises, magnified by limited choices and by circumstances that make it difficult to plan ahead. This doesn’t just affect educational success. Studies have shown that a low sense of control over one’s life has major health impacts in all areas, regardless of access to healthcare. 

· Verbal exposure: The range of vocabulary and number of words children are exposed to at a young age has impact on their academic achievement in later years. If parents speak poorer English, they may find it harder to develop their children’s language skills. Research shows a strong link between economic disadvantage and low verbal exposure. 

· Attendance: Almost all our pupils with very poor attendance or punctuality are eligible for Pupil Premium. Poor attendance is a significant barrier to achievement at school. Whilst all the factors above impact on the achievement of some of our disadvantaged children, they do not apply to all. Eligibility for Pupil Premium is broad and covers a wide range of economic disadvantage. When we drill down into our data, what we see is that most ‘disadvantaged’ pupils suffer very significant disadvantage from their attendance and this does impact on their achievement. In our data, this lowers our averages for Pupil Premium children generally.


5. What is our strategy for spending Pupil Premium? 

Our key investment is in teaching, which we see as the most effective tool we have for raising the achievement of all pupils; being able to afford teachers and learning support assistants. A significant part of our work is around developing an inclusive culture for learning; one that promotes children at the heart of their learning through an understanding of how to be successful. We also invest in giving targeted children and families opportunities to help them overcome the barriers to learning that economic disadvantage can bring. 

Great Teaching: We believe that the biggest difference we can make to children’s lives is through the quality of our teaching. We believe that high-quality teaching is the key to improving our school and ensuring the best possible outcomes for all our children. Research, such as that that undertaken by the Education Endowment Foundation, confirms this. Great teaching needs to be informed by strong, ongoing assessment, which enables us to identify and meet pupils’ needs quickly. Pupils who need extra-support to stay on track or deepen their understanding need prompt intervention and support, in ways which complement the teaching they receive in class. In practice this means that the school invests in maintaining low class ratios of teachers and additional staff in each year group. 

Targeted Intervention for Key Pupils: We monitor pupils’ achievement closely, through termly Pupil Progress Review meetings. This leads to some pupils being identified for extra intervention to support their learning. Most of this is delivered by LSAs within the classroom. We run most of our interventions in the classroom, so that teachers retain oversight of the work being done and pupils do not miss out on high quality class teaching. 

Action to Address Attendance and Punctuality Issues: Children whose attendance falls below 90% are classed as Persistent Absentees. Low attendance is a barrier to achievement at school. The vast majority of children at Robertswood classified as Persistent Absentees are eligible for Pupil Premium. The School Secretary tracks attendance and punctuality closely. We operate a system in which we meet the parents of Persistent Absentees, discuss issues and offer support to address these. This can involve the referral to external agencies. Last year the impact of this work was strong with all of the persistent absent classified children improving their attendance.  


6. How the school is to measure the impact and effect of its expenditure of the pupil premium allocation 

(see intended spend below)


7. The date of the school’s next review of its pupil premium strategy 

September 20


Below is a document explaining how Robertswood is intends to use the Pupil Premium.

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