Removing Barriers: Pupil Premium And Recovery Premium Funding

The Pupil Premium 

The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying differences between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most. The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years. Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months, and children of service personnel.

The Local Context

The catchment area of MEA Central serves a wide spectrum of deprivation.

We serve some of the most deprived areas (when compared against national data) in the local authority. With this in mind we analyse in detail our Pupil Premium cohort to identify common barriers and any local issues. The complex nature of our cohort means that we cannot assume anything and are not always dealing with obvious or common barriers.Therefore, a significant proportion of our work centres around monitoring the progress of our cohort and acting quickly to address emerging needs.

We recognise that our Pupil Premium cohort has a diverse range of aspirations, prior attainment and levels of progress.

Some of our brightest and most talented students form part of our Pupil Premium cohort. We have increased our capacity to identify issues and react on a daily basis, and all staff are invested in our inclusive school vision of ‘A fantastic future for all'. 

The broad barriers in our catchment area are:

  • A large proportion of students have arrived as International New Arrivals or have English as an Additional Language

  • The majority of students enter with low reading ages

  • Family history of reduced engagement with school life such as attendance at parent consultation evenings  

  • No family history of tertiary education, and with this a lack of aspiration towards attending leading universities  

  • Lack of cultural experiences and/or ability to engage with extra-curricular activities and exam preparation  

  • Sudden loss of family income resulting in non-engagement with educational visits and sudden reduced ability to purchase school equipment. 

All of our strategies can be linked to these local issues.