What is Pupil Premium?

The Government believes that the Pupil Premium Grant, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities 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 Grant was introduced in April 2011 and, as of 2012, is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years. This funding has since been extended to also include support for students who are Children Looked After (CLA) and also students adopted from care. These students, together with those who have received free school meals in the last six years, are collectively referred to as ‘disadvantaged students’.

The criteria for receiving Pupil Premium is as follows:

  • Claiming free school meals (FSM)
  • Have claimed FSM in the last six years (Ever 6 FSM)
  • Looked after children (LAC) as defined in The Children Act 1969 as one who in the care of, or provided with accommodation by, and English Local Authority
  • Children 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.
  • Service children


Pupil Premium at SFO 2016 - 2017

For the academic year, 2016-2017, 203 students, 34.4% of our whole cohort were eligible for Pupil Premium. There was no change to the funding formula nationally and so we received £218,790.

In addition to contributing to the staffing costs of LSAs, we used our additional Pupil Premium funding to provide a variety of intervention strategies to support targeted FSM and CLA students. Literacy and numeracy development was at the heart of our strategy for the effective deployment of the Pupil Premium funding.

Students had the opportunity to benefit from our provision of additional interventions/opportunities including:

  • One to one tuition in English and Maths
  • LSA support
  • Counselling
  • Providing revision resources
  • Holiday revision sessions
  • Literacy and Numeracy initiatives
  • Curriculum enrichment activities
  • Specific learning resources for individuals

To view the breakdown of expenditure of our additional Pupil Premium funding for the academic year 2016 - 2017 please click here.

As our range of intervention and support for the Pupil Premium cohort widened we created a leadership position in the school to ensure the expenditure of our additional Pupil Premium funding would be utilised to remove barriers to and facilitate maximum progress amongst our disadvantaged students. Caroline Maddocks was appointed as Assistant Head of Progress at Easter 2017.


Pupil Premium at SFO 2017 - 2018

For the academic year, 2017-2018, 209 students, 34.2% of our whole cohort were eligible for Pupil Premium. There was no change to the funding formula nationally and so we received £206,635.


SFO Strategy for facilitating progress of Disadvantaged students

We were not satisfied that our historic expenditure of the additional funding for disadvantaged students addressed the underlying inequalities between the disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged. As a school we are committed to progress for all, as a community we care about every student and are committed to facilitating their progress. Therefore we made the decision to completely review our strategy of the expenditure of this funding.

In order to genuinely improve progress, it is essential to first identify each individual’s barrier(s) to progress. We are undertaking a comprehensive review of each disadvantaged student, engaging them, their teachers, Form Tutors and Directors of Learning with this process. The five stages of this process are:

Disadvantaged students complete a survey identifying their attitude to learning, school growth mind-set and identifying any barriers to progress of which they are aware.

Form Tutors and subject teachers record barriers to learning which they have identified in their interaction with each student along with the successful strategies they have developed to enable this student to progress and thrive.

This data is then collated along with all other details held by the school such as: SEN status, medical/mental health needs, attendance, punctuality, achievements and sanctions.

The penultimate stage of this process is a meeting between Inclusion Co-ordinator (Laurie Simmonds) and Assistant Head teacher – Progress (Caroline Maddocks) to analyse the findings and prepare for the final stage.

The final stage is a one to one meeting between the student and Caroline Maddocks.  All data is discussed and barriers to progress discussed and agreed before strategies to overcome them are devised.  These strategies are then reflected upon by Caroline Maddocks and Laurie Simmonds and appropriate steps to remove or enable the student to overcome the barrier(s) are taken.

A summary of the collated information is used to produce a Progress Plan for each student.  This is shared with all staff in order for them to differentiate their teaching and interaction with each student to facilitate maximum progress.


How can we afford to do this?

A review of the expenditure of previous years’ funding highlighted a similarity in approach and expenditure which did not deliver upon the high expectations of progress which we have for every student.

A forensic analysis of the expenditure identified that we could fund some elements of the provision we wish to offer from other sources. This means that we have funding to invest in a be-spoke manner for each student to challenge their barriers to progress.

In order to ensure full clarity, we will, from 2017-18, report the allocation of funding Looked after Children and Year 7 Catch up separately.  The funding for these children is ring fenced and is therefore should be reported apart from the Disadvantaged budget.

For the 2017-18 allocation of Disadvantaged funding please click here.

For the allocation of funding for Looked after children please click here.

For the allocation of funding for Year 7 Catch Up premium please click here.

Finally, we would like to invite you to join the SFO working party for disadvantaged students. We will meet each half term to review how we communicate our strategy and report on our progress. We want to listen to your opinions and incorporate your ideas. Letters to this effect will be sent to you the week commencing 18th September 2017 and afterwards will be available from Reception.


Year 7 Catch Up Premium

The allocation of £14,509.00 was awarded in February 2017 to our school to be spent purely on students arriving in Year 7 who have scored significantly below the national average in their Key Stage 2 English and Maths SATS. The purpose of this allocation is literally enable these students “catch-up” with their peers’ learning.

At SFO we work closely with the Subject teachers in English and Maths to determine the best possible route to achieving this goal.

Our current provision is to provide a combination of Maths and English tuition on a one to one or small group basis.  In addition to this we also fund a proportion of the HLTA’s salary reflective of her commitment to the Nurture programme.

Traditionally, we have subscribed to the reading programme Lexia.  While some students have thrived on this programme, research by Lucy Hyde (Assistant Head teacher and Subject Leader in English) and Caroline Maddocks (Assistant Head teacher – Progress) suggests that an alternative online English programme will deliver greater progress more rapidly. Therefore, this alternative provision will be introduced on a trial basis for a small number of students whose progress will be carefully tracked by the English Department.  

Please click here to read the Pupil Premium + and CLA funding