Pupil Premium Review
Paul Scott - Senior Education leadership Consultant
Kings Avenue School
The school was last inspected by Ofsted in May 2018 and judged to require improvement. The review of Pupil Premium impact was undertaken during a number of visits in November 2018. Senior leaders, a governor, teachers and students have been spoken to as well as looking at school documentation and progress tracking data.
The inspection in 2018 highlighted that Disadvantaged pupils’ progress in reading and mathematics at the end of 2017 was well below that of other pupils nationally not fully securing sufficient progress and attainment. This was highlighted as a priority for improvement. The achievement increased significantly in 2018 and the gap narrowed
The number of pupils in the school has fallen over the past few years as demographics in the area have changed. The proportion of students that are eligible for pupil premium support is much higher than found nationally and is around 50% of the cohort spread evening throughout each year group. Pupil premium income is a significant proportion of the school income and accounts for £308 000 in 2017/18 and is around £240 000 in 2018/19. The funding has been integrated into the general school funds and it has been difficult for the current leadership team to unpick the specific spending and the programmes that have been undertaken for the range of groups. The funding stream requires schools to account for specific pupil premium spending. When the school has so many pupils eligible for pupil premium funding the accounting requirements place a burden on the school in disaggregating the spending and impact. The current leaders are still constrained by decisions already made for the allocation of PP spending. The leaders are developing tracking systems to allow greater insight into the impact of specific programmes that are funded from the PP allocation.
Leadership are clear about priorities and barriers to learning in the school – these priorities are not always specific to the pupil premium students. This is an accurate and appropriate approach as the priorities in developing teaching and learning apply to PP and non-PP students. Teaching and learning is developing well and further refinements of the strategy will be needed as issues become more relevant to PP groups. The key priority is to raise attainment and developing higher rates of progress across the school through developing teaching and learning so that all teaching results in good or better progress. This is particularly the case for developing Maths and for the increased progress of boys.
The attainment of all students in 2018 saw a significant increase and at the end of Key stage 2 was broadly in line with attainment nationally. In Early Years 72% of PP students achieved a GLD with 67% of non-PP students achieving a GLD. PP students achieved more than non-PP students in Yr 2 reading and writing and Yr 6 reading and combined RWM. There is a significant gap in Maths at the end of YR 2 and YR6 between non-pp student and pp students. The school is now in a position to bring together tracking data for the current cohorts and this will give a clearer comparison as to how the school is performing year on Year (this data is being processed now – update will follow when evaluation is available).
Teaching across the school is developing well with a high level of support across the school to develop more focused teaching and individualised learning. The quality of teaching for disadvantaged pupils is similar to that of all students. The leadership from September 2018 have refocused the interventions and teachers undertake more of the teaching for the lower attaining students so that the students that are furthest behind now get the best of teaching with the most experienced of teachers. Previously the specific interventions were not monitored enough and targets for the programmes not effectively set. It was therefore very difficult to establish what impact spending had overall.
Governors have a clear focus on their duty to account for the spending but the impact has not previously been evaluated rigorously enough to ensure they have a full picture of the impact of the PP funding. The leadership are aware that they will need to give governors a clear rational and tracking information for the achievements of PP students. (governor minutes not yet scrutinised – this may give evidence that the governors have an appropriate oversight of PP spending and impact.
Behaviour in the school is positive with the overall engagement across the school being good there has not been sufficient analysis of the behaviour tracking information. The basic data is not conclusive but indicates that it is an area to look into further to ensure there is a better understanding of barriers to learning.
Planning for 2019/20 is being considered as to how to focus the spending and how systems will develop to ensure greater specific focus can be given to PP students with clear progress tracking and accountability to governors and external audit.
Pupil premium funding is now being increasingly focused to ensure PP students make achieve well – leaders have appropriate priorities and a strategy to develop and implement improvements. Tracking and analysis is developing well.
• Refine and develop the development of teaching and learning to reduce the need for interventions.
• Targets set for intervention programmes to assess fully the impact of strategies
• Analysis of Autumn term progress and attainment for PP students comparisons to non-pp and national expectations. ( national comparison rather than the gaps as in many cases the gap is a positive one )
• Look at barriers to learning how do they compare to the barriers for Non-PP
• Develop tracking and analysis of behaviour to ensure there are no significant issues between PP and Non PP students
• Develop communications with governors to ensure governors can hold leaders to account