Pupil Premium was introduced by the Government in April 2011. It is intended to address the underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who are most in need of it.
West London Free School is in the Hammersmith and Fulham borough. Last year, the school was eligible to receive Pupil Premium for 38% of its pupils. Pupil premium is paid at the rate of £935 per eligible pupil. In the academic year ending 31 August 2017 the school received £213,137 in pupil premium funding.
Improvement in the attainment and progress of pupils is the primary objective of the school. The majority of school strategies are designed to achieve this. Pupil premium funding is used for specific initiatives to support the most disadvantaged pupils.
Pupil Premium funding is the principal source of funding for the initiatives below. The costings below show how much of the Pupil Premium fund was allocated to disadvantaged children for each provision. The total spending on these provisions for disadvantaged pupils came to £228,466.
- Academic support during the school day (£66,213); Disadvantaged pupils with special educational needs were given priority access to a learning support assistant in lessons (£24,122). Disadvantaged pupils with low numeracy and literacy levels were entered into our functional skills and phonics programmes (£6,705). GCSE students struggling in core subjects were given additional lessons in English and maths (£16,076) and, during the GCSE exam period, all disadvantaged pupils were given pre-exam support (£19,310). These interventions had an excellent impact on GCSE outcomes (see below) and will be continued this year.
- Extracurricular academic support (£46,403); This includes SEN-support clubs (£13,445), afterschool revision sessions and tutoring/mentoring (£30,677) and holiday revision days delivered by teachers (£2,281). This provided important support for children who struggled to revise at home. These interventions will be continued this year.
- Behaviour intervention (£43,619); We maintain high behaviour standards through a range of interventions, primarily involving senior staff. These include a senior staff on-call service, same-day detentions, isolation and behaviour mentoring. Behaviour in lessons, and attitude towards learning, is consistently rated as exceptional in pupil, staff and parent surveys. Pupils in particular appreciate the calm atmosphere in class. The provision will continue this year.
- Cultural Enrichment (£29,703); The WLFS is committed to improving the cultural capital of all pupils, and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who may struggle to gain such knowledge in the home. Cultural enrichment is delivered in part through the Great Conversations and Form Time Reading programmes (at a combined cost of £5,319). The school has also contributed £7,435 towards the cost of trips for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. The school also provides subsidised music lessons for PPI-eligible pupils (£15,120) and a lunchtime book club provision (£1,199). These provisions will continue this year.
- Share of Safeguarding and Attendance Officer salary (£21,825); This provision has been used to significantly increase attendance rates of vulnerable groups at the school. This member of staff monitors attendance, carries out home visits, devises and implements intervention strategies, liaises with Heads of Year and meets and supports external agencies who are also maintaining the welfare of our pupils. As a result, the attendance rates of pupils eligible for the pupil premium increased from 90.9% in 2015/16 to 93.1% in 2016/17. This provision will be continued this year.
- Promoting Pupil Wellbeing (£15,393); A learning mentor works closely with many disadvantaged children – providing a structured environment to develop key skills to succeed academically (£5,325). The school also employs a counsellor to support children who are experiencing a range of emotional difficulties (£9,596). Other pastoral workshops, including for E-safety and sexual health, were held for at-risk pupils (£472 spent). All three interventions will continue this year.
- Assessment and Monitoring (£2,680); This includes assessment tools to screen for any potential educational needs.
- Other expenditure (£3,260); Including curriculum supplies and uniform costs.
Pupil Impact on Achievement
With support from the above interventions, most disadvantaged pupils were entered for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) – 63% at the WLFS (compared to 25% nationally and 50% locally in 2016). The EBacc is a measure introduced by the Department for Education that encourages schools to enter pupils for a range of rigorous and academic qualifications. Our exceptionally high EBacc entry rate demonstrates our high expectations for pupils, regardless of their background.
On most measures, disadvantaged pupils at the WLFS performed far better than 2016 national and local averages. A similar number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds passed (4+) both English and maths compared to their more affluent peers (71% and 79% respectively). This is a significant improvement on last year’s results, where only 56% of PPI-eligible students passed both subjects. Furthermore, almost half (46%) of disadvantaged pupils achieved grade 5s or above in both English and maths. Across the range of subjects taken, the average grade achieved by disadvantaged pupils was a C (Attainment 8 score of 46) compared to an average of a D nationally and locally in 2016. Furthermore, 14% of disadvantaged pupils achieved at least five A or A* grades. Almost a quarter (22%) of pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium achieved the EBacc (compared to 12% nationally and 22% locally in 2016).