The Use of and Impact of the Pupil Premium
The St. Christopher School is a special school for children aged 3-19 years with a range of learning difficulties including autism, ADHD, communication and interaction difficulties, cognition and learning difficulties and some with social emotional and behavioural difficulties. All pupils have a Statement of SEN. Levels of attainment upon entry to the school are significantly below age related expectations. The catchment area is wide with pupils placed via many different Local Authorities.
Pupil premium was introduced by the Government in April 2011. The funding is provided in addition to the main Special School funding from the LA and is intended to help disadvantaged pupils to ‘close the gap’ and to raise attainment and improve progress. A high percentage of our pupils receive Pupil Premium funding.
Children who are eligible include:
The St. Christopher School’s Effective Use of Pupil Premium
Our learners who are eligible for pupil premium are not underachieving in comparison to their peers – “The school’s very effective use of its pupil premium funding has made sure that eligible pupils often make even better progress than their peers.” (Ofsted 2012). This is due to our relentless commitment to personalised learning around the holistic needs of the individual.
In order to better monitor our pupils’ outcomes, in addition to using B² and CASPA, the school has adopted a number of assessment and tracking systems tailored to the individual needs of our pupils. This has enabled the school to track and monitor the impact of pupil premium funding in a more consistent manner. The tracking is linked to specific targets for each pupil via their ISPs and EHCP’s.
A great deal of evidence showing the progress of all pupils, including our pupil premium students, is collated on film. Viewing the school website video, which was created by our own pupils, is useful in fully understanding the impact that the pupil premium has for the positive wellbeing of the whole school. This gives a flavour of how we use visual evidence and media to show pupil outcomes and impact of the overall learning environment. We also collate and hold video and specific case studies on a number of students which charts their progress in academic areas as well as their progress in resilience, adaptability and overcoming of specific barriers to everyday life. This can include difficulties with feeding, dressing or obsessional behaviours such as hearing the phone ring, which prevent learning.
Pupil Premium – Financial Year 2016 to 2017
In the 2016 to 2017 financial year, schools will receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years:
Schools will also receive £1,900 for each pupil identified in the spring school census as having left local authority care because of one of the following:
The Use and Impact of the Pupil Premium Grant Academic Year 2016-17
Allocation – £125,840
The school’s pupil premium allocation for this current school year 2016-2017 is expected to be £125,840. This information was taken by the DfE from the January ’16 Census:
67 primary aged pupils (67 x £1,320 = £88,440) and
40 secondary aged pupils (40 x £935 = £37,400)
The Local Authorities who have children placed at the school this academic year include Southend on Sea Borough Council, Essex County Council, London Borough of Redbridge, Thurrock Council and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
The allocation will be spent on providing support for specific areas. These are:
The Use and Impact of the Pupil Premium Grant Academic Year 2015-16
Allocation – £133,746
The school’s Pupil Premium allocation for the academic year 2015-16 was £133,746 for those pupils entitled to Free School Meals and those pupils in the care of Local Authorities. Approximately 55% of pupils were in receipt of pupil premium. The Local Authorities who had children placed at the school during this academic year included Southend, Essex, Redbridge, Thurrock and Barking and Dagenham.
Additionally, the school was in receipt of £12,000 of Year 7 Catch-up funding (£500 per pupil). This is a premium to support Year 7 pupils who did not achieve the expected standard in reading or maths at the end of Key Stage 2.
Both the pupil premium and the catch-up funding were spent similarly to previous years:
Speech and language therapists
Accessing diverse curriculum i.e. Action Learning
Support with residential visits
Usage – 2015-16 – Barriers to Learning and Development
Due to the number of pupils affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder, the predominant barrier to learning at The St. Christopher School Academy Trust is the development of communication and language skills. The other main area of need is that of behavioural support for those pupils with challenging behaviours. Both these areas are key skills that need additional specialist support to enable pupils to make the most of their abilities and develop into successful learners in school and when they leave school and move into the outside world.
Speech and Language Therapists
This involves the employment of qualified Speech and Language Therapists who are on the school site throughout the school year working with individual and groups of pupils as well as working in the classrooms alongside staff, giving advice and support in the development of language and communication. This team of four specialist staff are employed by the school and there is no financial support for this service, the NHS do not provide any speech therapy.
We employ a specialist Occupational & Sensory Integration Therapist. She works for the school two days a week providing support directly with children and advice to staff on helping our pupils overcome some of their difficulties with sensory regulation. This allows them the time and confidence to learn and prevents the sensitivity to sound/touch/smell/taste etc from being a barrier to learning and development. (The OT was on maternity leave for the majority of the 15-16 school year.)
School Counsellors / Learning Mentors
A number of pupils at the school have extreme difficulties understanding the regular expectation of society and schools when it comes to interacting with their peers, working alongside others and behaving in appropriate ways in social situations. They need additional support to enable them to access the school curriculum, social activities and manage their own behaviour in acceptable ways to families and the outside world.
The Pupil Pastoral Team consists of two qualified counsellors and other specialist staff who are dedicated to providing additional support to develop personal, life and social skills for those who are in most extreme need, and are vulnerable to not making the progress they could without additional support.
The pastoral team support a number of our pupils to access everyday activities such as blood tests, dentist and hair appointments. For a number of our pupils this is very difficult, but they are supported by a member of staff accompanying them to provide support.
The governing Body have utilised the pupil premium allocation to help support the development of speech, language and communication and behaviour and emotional support.
All of our pupil premium pupils have access to a wide range of interventions which we monitor for their impact. Some interventions are fun based and there is no measurable outcome, other than enjoyment. Other interventions are more subtle in their desired impact and outcome. For example, we offer music lessons during school hours which offer pupils the opportunity to grow their self-esteem and ability to express themselves. We run a girls group (girls are a minority within the school) to provide a time and space for them to interact together and talk about any issues that they want to share. One area that our Year 10 pupils particularly enjoy taking part in is Action Learning. It is a farm based learning centre for schools and groups providing alternative learning outside of the classroom. All of our pupils who take part derive great enjoyment from their time there and pupils provide consistently strong feedback of their experiences and gain accreditation for their work through the Gateway Qualifications (Qualification in Progression).
We are able to clearly identify our pupil premium funding and state what the expenditure goes towards. For example, 25% of the main school counsellor’s salary is identified as supporting pupil premium pupils. 55% of the Speech and Language Therapists’ salaries and 100% of our additional school counsellor’s salary can be identified as working specifically with children in this group and also provides specific 1:1 support for all pupils who are looked after by Local Authorities. 50% of the pastoral support co-ordinator’s salary is identified as working and co-ordinating the work of this group.
Two of our pupils who were looked after by Local Authorities were enabled to go on a school visit to Portugal, obtaining passports and flying for the first time. All of which was subsidised and supported by school staff who work with them.
There are specific interventions to help access the curriculum in fine and gross motor control, ‘stay safe’ training, play therapy, lego therapy, travel training, social skills groups and girls groups.
All of the above comes to a minimum of £146,000 which is therefore showing that we can clearly identify how the pupil premium money and catch up money is spent and that it is topped up considerably by the rest of the school budget as this only accounts for salaries and not equipment, resources or administration support.
Impact and Progress 2015-16
The school uses various methods to assess the impact of all initiatives and keeps a detailed record of all the interventions put in place on top of the regular curriculum and support given to our children.
We use a system of assessing progress which shows whether a pupil has made expected, above or below expected progress in overall academic achievement in English, Maths, Science and PSHCE. This system is based upon CASPA (Comparison and Analysis of Special Pupil Attainment) which allows a comparison of progress against similar pupils and their starting points nationally.
This year the results were somewhat different due to the fact that we introduced the new National Curriculum early and some curriculum areas changed drastically i.e. science now has 16 areas for comparison, previously it was four. In English, speaking and listening is now in one area where before they were separated. Also, the grade/level boundaries changed and it is much harder to achieve levels above the P Scales in many subjects. We also use a number of other methods to track pupil progress in all areas and analyse these to see if there are any areas of need which is not met through current provision.
Despite these difficulties it can still be seen that the overall picture of those in receipt of Free School Meals and those who are not is roughly similar with no big ‘gap’ between the two groups, and also for those in Looked After Care the picture is similar with all pupils in this group reaching expected progress. Statistical comparisons as the only means of assessing the impact of the interventions are difficult when numbers are so small (the total number of Looked After pupils is 4 out of 215).
A comparison of data for the academic years 2014/15 and 2015/16 can be seen below:
The Use and Impact of the Pupil Premium Grant Academic Year 2014/15
For the academic year 2014-15, The St. Christopher School received the sum of £83,455 for those pupils on free school meals and those pupils who were in Local Authority care for at least six months.
The Local Authorities who had children placed at the school at that time include Southend Borough Council, Essex County Council, Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham and Lambeth Council.
87 pupils – 42% of the school population were in receipt of Pupil Premium for 2014/15.
Of the cohort of pupils who attracted Pupil Premium payments in this academic year, all made at least expected progress across the year and there was no gap in progress between those in receipt of pupil premium and their peers.