Financial Year 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018
The pupil premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and to close the gap in attainment between them and their peers. Currently a school receives £1,320 for each primary and £935 for each secondary pupil who has been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years. A school also receives £1,900 for each Looked After Child. In 2016/17 the allocation for the Steiner Academy Hereford (SAH) was £76,203. For the academic year 2017/18, we have identified an estimated budget of £75,520.
We are free to spend this funding as we see fit as long as we can show it is effective in closing the gap in progress and attainment between PPF pupils and their peers.
At the Steiner Academy our education focuses on the development of the whole child and integrates academic learning with artistic and outdoor activities. We recognise the unique contribution that each child brings to their learning and use targeted additional support strategies to support every child to be able to:
- improve self-esteem;
- have full access to our curriculum;
- access extra-curricular provision;
- improve their levels of attainment and progress;
- close attainment gaps, where present.
We are committed to ensuring that pupils in receipt of PPF are not stigmatised or isolated in anyway. However, we do identify these pupils in our progress tracking system. This enables us to monitor their progress and to intervene where appropriate. This includes ensuring we support both their curriculum and extra-curricular activities
Pupil Premium funding is used in the following ways:-
To employ Teaching Assistants (TAs) to allow more focus on areas of targeted support for individual pupils where we feel the greatest benefit can be achieved. During the year 2016/17 we budgeted for a combined total of 229.50 hours being worked on a weekly basis by TAs. The cost of this support excluding on-costs was £79,267.
We have now increased the weekly budgeted hours for Teaching Assistants to 245.00 hours per week at an approximate cost of £85,851 excluding on-costs.
In addition we have employed Kindergarten Assistants to support our early years setting. The budget cost of this support for 2016/17 was approximately £52,000.
A range of interventions specifically for PPF pupils, where appropriate, including:
- speech or Eurythmy therapy;
- music lessons;
- provision of specialist equipment, such as a laptops;
- additional pastoral support from relevant professionals where we are unable provide this in-house.
In 2016/17, excluding the cost of providing laptops, £7,104 was spent in this area, an increase of £2,425 on the previous year. The amount of £6,600 has been allocated for the academic year 2017/18.
Educational visits and other extra-curricular activities are an indispensable part of the learning experience and enrich a pupil’s understanding of themselves and the world around them. As such, our Governing Body has agreed within its Charging Policy to allow a parent to apply for the remission of part or all of the charges for board and lodging on educational trips, if the child is eligible for Free School Meals. The amount spent for this type of support for 2016/17 was £1,909. The amount of £1,500 has been allocated for the academic year 2017/18.
A significant amount of our Pupil Premium allocation is spent on our Teaching Assistants and as such we continue to review whether we are using this resource to its full potential. Our newly appointed SENDCo (2016) has a remit to ensure all TAs are deployed optimally and have sufficient impact on the learning and well-being of the pupils who are allocated Pupil Premium funding. Recommendations are presented to the Academy Leadership Team for discussion and implementation.
Points which are continuously questioned:
- Are the pupils benefiting from having a TA in the classroom – especially those with PPF? Are TAs working in the areas they are best equipped to support?
- Are teachers making best use of classroom support and how can we help them to do this?
- Are TAs confident to meet the needs of the children and the demands of the teachers?
- Do we have un-met training needs?
- Are we supporting the professional development and aspirations of our TAs?
- Are they happy, fulfilled and do they feel valued in their work?
Raising these questions will be relevant to ensuring that our TAs are empowered to deliver the best possible support for our children and best use of pupil premium funding.