Watch above and read below as former National Pupil Premium Champion John Dunford shares a number of approaches and tips that can help schools to identify ways to most effectively use their Pupil Premium funding. Taken from his mainstage presentation at the SSAT National Conference 2015.
Schools have massive automony on the Pupil Premium agenda. You get the money and are held to account for the impact of that money but what you do in between is totally up to you. Nobody is going to tell you what to do.
The profession needs to stop looking up to be told what to do (as it has done for the past 25 years) and start looking out. Here are a collection of approaches that will help you to do this:
Look out to other schools
When looking out for excellent practice from other schools, the place to start is the Pupil Premium Awards website. The awards have been running for three years and there are a number of case studies from regional and national winners available to download for free.
Then, why not ring the winning school up? They have won a pupil premium award because they have agreed to support the work of other schools – they expect to receive phone calls from others asking for advice.
Utilise the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) toolkit
A hugely powerful resource – based on 10,000 pieces of research. It doesn’t tell you how to implement strategies in your school but it does suggest to you the approaches that could prove most effective. Find out more.
Consider NFER’s seven building blocks of success
- An ethos of attainment for all pupils.
- An individualised approach to addressing barriers to learning and emotional support at an early stage.
- A focus on high quality teaching.
- A focus on outcomes for individual pupils.
- Deployment of the best staff to support disadvantaged pupils – developing the skills of existing teachers and TAs.
- Decision-making based on data and frequent monitoring.
- Clear, responsive leadership, with high aspirations.
Download the PowerPoint presentation of NFER’s SSAT National Conference 2015 workshop (including more information on the seven building blocks of success) here.
Familiarise yourself with the 12 areas of Pupil Premium focus in successful schools
- Excellent collection, analysis and use of data relating to individual pupils and groups.
- Unerring focus on the quality of teaching.
- Identification of the main barriers to learning for PP-eligible pupils.
- Frequent monitoring of the progress of every PP-eligible pupil.
- When a pupil’s progress slows, interventions are put in place rapidly.
- Every effort is made to engage parents and carers in the education and progress of their child.
- If poor attendance is an issue, this is addressed as a priority.
- Evidence (especially the Education Endowment Foundation Toolkit) is used to decide on which strategies are likely to be most effective in overcoming barriers to learning.
- Staff (teachers and support staff) are trained in depth on the chosen strategies.
- 100 per cent buy-in from all staff to the importance of the PP agenda is essential, with all staff conveying positive and aspirational messages to PP-eligible pupils. Performance management is used to reinforce the importance of PP effectiveness.
- Effectiveness of teaching assistants is evaluated and, if necessary, increased through training and improved deployment.
- Governors are trained on PP.
Evidence from Ofsted – successful approaches
- PP funding ring-fenced to spend on target group.
- Maintained high expectations of target group.
- Thoroughly analysed which pupils were under-achieving and why.
- Used evidence to allocate funding to big-impact strategies.
- High quality teaching, not interventions to compensate for poor teaching.
- Used achievement data to check interventions effective and made adjustments where necessary.
- Highly trained support staff.
- Senior leader with oversight of how PP funding is being spent.
- Teachers know which pupils eligible for PP.
- Able to demonstrate impact.
- Involve governors.
Look out to the excellent practice in other schools, and to the mass of evidence of what is working. Then, and only then, will you be in a position to choose the right strategies for your school.