Strategy to support disadvantaged students close the gap
What do we mean by disadvantaged?
In the conditions of grant for the pupil premium, the DfE says that ‘disadvantaged pupils’ are:
- Pupils in year groups reception to year 11 recorded as ‘ever 6 free school meals (FSM)’
- Eligible pupils in year groups reception to year 11 with no recourse to public funds (NRPF)
- Looked after children (LAC), defined in the Children Act 1989 as one who is in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, an English local authority (LA)
- Children who have ceased to be looked after by an LA in England and Wales because of adoption, a special guardianship order, or a child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order)
The pupil premium is a grant given by the government to schools in England to decrease the attainment gap for the most disadvantaged children, whether by income or by family upheaval. For each pupil who is eligible for free school meals, their school receives £1,320 (if a primary school) or £935 (if a secondary school).
Closing the gap
The reason disadvantaged students have historically made less progress than other students are complex. There are a number of barriers all students can face while progressing through their education. It is more likely a disadvantaged student will face multiple barriers that will compound students chances of achieving success, so it is important for the school to deliver a strategy that focuses on removing as many of these hurdles as possible.
Priorities For The Improvement of Disadvantaged Pupils
We aim to inspire students of all attainment profiles and backgrounds, as they follow an academic curriculum that exposes them to the rich cultural heritage of ages past whilst providing them with the skills and knowledge that they need to thrive in a modern, dynamic global society. To that end, we aim to both raise the achievement of all our learners, as well as ensure that we close the gap between our student groups. At Bottisham Village College, in recent years, the proportion of students with Pupil Premium has increased as we have grown in size and our student demographic has changed. Research indicates that disadvantaged students achieve better outcomes when they attend a good school and receive excellent teaching. It is, therefore, appropriate to ensure most of their needs are increasingly met through high-quality universal provision with a relentless focus to ensure our curriculum, teaching and learning are excellent and meet the needs of all learners. Our model to achieve success with these students is therefore as follows:
Covid19 Catch-up Premium and Curriculum Expectations 2021/22
The DfE has allocated £650 million to be spent on ensuring all pupils have the chance to catch up and supporting schools to enable them to do so. Whilst headteachers will decide how the money is spent, the Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance on effective interventions to support schools. For pupils with complex needs, schools should spend this funding on catch-up support to address their individual needs. There is also an allocation of £350 million for a National Tutoring Programme, intended to deliver proven and successful tuition to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. The DfE has also set out the following Curriculum Expectations, to ensure that all pupils – particularly disadvantaged, SEND and vulnerable pupils – are given the catch-up support needed to make substantial progress by the end of the academic year.
Education is not optional
- All pupils receive a high-quality education that promotes their development and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
The curriculum remains broad and ambitious
- All pupils continue to be taught a wide range of subjects, maintaining their choices for further study and employment
DfE asks that schools meet the following key expectations:
- Teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term, but make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content…In particular, schools may consider how all subjects can contribute to the filling of gaps in core knowledge, for example through an emphasis on reading.
- Aim to return to the school’s normal curriculum in all subjects by summer term 2021.
- Plan on the basis of the educational needs of pupils. Curriculum planning should be informed by an assessment of pupils’ starting points and addressing the gaps in their knowledge and skills.
- Develop remote education so that it is integrated into school curriculum planning. Schools should set out how they will allocate the additional funding to support curriculum recovery this academic year. The EEF guidance suggests a 3-tiered approach:
i. High-quality teaching for all
ii. Effective diagnostic assessment
iii. Supporting remote learning
iv. Focusing on professional development
b) Targeted academic support
i, High-quality one to one and small group tuition
ii. Teaching Assistants and targeted support
iii. Academic tutoring
iv. Planning for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
c) Wider strategies
i. Supporting pupils’ social, emotional and behavioural needs
ii. Planning carefully for adopting a Social and Emotional Learning curriculum
iii. Communicating with and supporting parents
iv. Supporting parents with pupils of different ages
v. Successful implementation in challenging times