09 Jan New Pupil Premium module available
Modern Governor subscribers now have access to a new module on the Pupil Premium. Its author, Cathy Tracy, is a freelance school improvement adviser with over 15 years of experience in Local Authority work. She provides support and challenge to schools, governors and other educational organisations on a range of subjects including pupil premium, provision for the gifted and talented, teaching and learning and general school improvement.
Governors and the Pupil Premium
Pupil Premium funding has become an increasingly important area for many schools, especially given the fact that Ofsted inspections are duty-bound to include a report on how well the school is using any of this funding. Of course day-to-day responsibility for this lies with the headteacher, but governors are certainly expected to know how the funding is being used and in particular what impact this is having on the pupils who receive the funding.
Many governing bodies now have a designated governor for Pupil Premium who will report to the remaining governors and this may make monitoring more effective and focused. But what kind of questions should any governor be asking about Pupil Premium? In my opinion a Pupil Premium governor should act as champion for these pupils. It is simply not acceptable that the achievement of these pupils as a group is often so much worse than that of their peers. So the Pupil Premium governor needs know how they are doing and what is being done to raise their achievement to at least that of their peers. This is definitely not a “one-off” question – it may be that certain interventions have been applied but not been as successful as expected. If this is the case the school needs to constantly review the impact of any interventions and be prepared to make changes. It is worth looking at the literature available on what has worked for other schools.
It is clearly wrong to assume that pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium funding are a homogeneous group, especially since some may qualify for funding under the “Ever 6” rule which means that they have claimed for Free School Meals at any time during the last 6 years. For some pupils this might mean that their home circumstances have now improved significantly. It could be that pupils receiving the funding are doing better in some classes or subjects than others and this should be investigated.
Not all the pupils receiving Pupil Premium will be struggling with school work. The grouping may well contain high-achievers or those with the potential to achieve highly and it’s important that the school has sufficiently high expectations of all pupils. Interventions should be properly matched to individual needs in order to allow all pupils to achieve their best.
The full Pupil Premium module is now available to all Modern Governor subscribers in a responsive format which adapts to display on a computer screen, tablet or smartphone. The free 30 day trial gives access to samples of similar modules from the range of Modern Governor professional development modules. If you’re a subscriber, you can log in to your Modern Governor account to access the module.
Questions for governing bodies
- Is the effective use of pupil premium funding & the achievement of those for whom the funding is provided a standing item on our governing body’s agendas?
- Do reports and information we get from our headteacher identify pupil premium recipients as a distinct group so that we can monitor impact and progress?
- Do we have a pupil premium governor? If so, how does s/he communicate her work to the remainder of the governing body?