Who is eligibile to receive Pupil Premium grant money?
Students eligible to receive the Pupil Premium grant fall into four groups:
- students entitled to free school meals (FSM);
- students that have been entitled to FSM during the last six years (Ever 6);
- children in care or looked after (CLA) or who have ceased to be looked after by a local authority in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, a child arrangements order or a residence order;
- services children.
Due to the introduction of the new Universal Credit system, up until 2023 Pupil Premium students will only be removed from a school’s roll at a parent’s request.
At Icknield High School we have, on average, around 30% of our cohort who are classed as Pupil Premium. This is above the national average of 28% recorded in 2018/19. Ward data published by the Luton Borough Council in April 2018 also highlights high levels of deprivation in the local community.
Free School Meal funding is provided directly to schools from the government. Luton Borough Council is responsible for processing Free School Meal requests and the school cannot do this directly. For more information about Free School Meals and/or to check your eligibility, please visit the Luton Borough Council website:
What is the purpose of the Pupil Premium grant?
Nationally, Pupil Premium students are shown to be more likely to underachieve, have social and emotional difficulties and lack access to cultural capital. While some Pupil Premium students don’t fall into these groups, the Education Endowment Foundation’s Guide to Pupil Premium (2019), acknowledges that ‘closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers is one of the greatest challenges facing schools’. This challenge is great as the reasons many Pupil Premium students underachieve are ‘complex and often entrenched from an early age.’
Whilst the gap in England has closed between Pupil Premium students and their non-Pupil Premium peers since the introduction of the grant in 2011, disadvantaged students in 2018/19 still achieved nearly half a grade less than their non-Pupil Premium peers nationally. At current rates, research shows it will take over seventy years to close the disadvantage gap completely.
As a result, the government continues to make the achievement of Pupil Premium students a top priority, and they provide schools with the additional funding outlined above to help address these inequalities.
However, as the EEF’s report rightly states, the Pupil Premium grant represents much more than money. It ‘ensures there is an ongoing focus of raising the achievement of children from disadvantaged backgrounds in our education system’.
How do we spend the grant money at Icknield High School?
The Pupil Premium allocation for Icknield High School is projected to be approximately £430,000 for 2019-2020.
At Icknield High School we ensure that the grant money we receive for our Pupil Premium students is used strategically to support their learning and development, rather than spent on a series of ad hoc or bolt-on measures.
The allocation is spent using a three tier approach focused around quality first teaching, targeted intervention and behaviour and welfare. For the full list of strategies used and an evaluation of their effectiveness, please read the Pupil Premium reports and Pupil Premium strategy documents.
What has been the impact of the grant money at Icknield High School?
As a result of the strategic use of the Pupil Premium grant money:
- Teachers are significantly more aware of Pupil Premium students in their teaching groups and the strategies they can use to support them.
- At GCSE level, Pupil Premium students make progress in line with their non-disadvantaged peers nationally.
- Outcomes at GCSE level are particularly strong in mathematics and English.
- The gaps between disadvantaged students and their non-disadvantaged peers at Key Stage 3 continue to diminish.
- Disadvantaged students are more engaged in their learning and have higher aspirations for themselves.