25 Mar The Pupil Premium: How schools are spending the funding successfully to maximise achievement
The Pupil Premium was introduced by the Coalition Government in April 2011 to provide additional support for looked after children and those from low income families. The extra funding is made available to schools to help them narrow the attainment gap that still exists between pupils from disadvantaged and more affluent backgrounds.
The Government asked Ofsted to investigate how effectively schools were using the additional funding. Last September, they published their initial findings and followed this up with nearly 70 visits throughout the autumn term to a range of primary and secondary schools.
These visits showed that some schools are still not spending the Pupil Premium on interventions that are having any meaningful impact. These schools do not have good enough systems for tracking the spending of the additional funding or for evaluating the effectiveness of measures they have put in place in terms of improving outcomes. In short, they struggle to show that the funding is making any real difference.
There are, however, many schools that are getting this right, as The Pupil Premium Report published in February explains and highlights. They have been able to tell inspectors exactly where the Pupil Premium funding is being spent and can demonstrate how and why it is having an impact. The best school leaders know what they want to achieve from each of their interventions and they evaluate progress thoroughly to make sure these are working. They also have well thought-through plans for building on their success.
Crucially, many of these good schools are concentrating on the core areas of literacy and numeracy to break down the main barriers to accessing the full curriculum. They are also focusing on the key stages of a child’s development in their school career.
The best primary schools are making sure that poorer children have all the help they need to grasp the basics of reading, writing and mathematics right at the start of their education so that they don’t have to catch up later.
The best secondary schools are finding out where the basic skills gaps exist among eligible pupils as soon as they arrive in Year 7 and deploying their best teachers to help close these gaps. In particular, these schools are using the additional funding provided through the Pupil Premium to employ teachers with a good track record of working with disadvantaged pupils.
Read the full report here: The Pupil Premium – How schools are spending the funding