All members of staff and governors accept responsibility for ‘socially disadvantaged’ pupils and are committed to meeting their pastoral, social and academic needs within a caring special school environment. This is an essential, integral part of the supportive ethos of the whole school community. As with every child in our care, a child who is considered to be ‘socially disadvantaged’ is valued, respected and entitled to develop to his/her full potential, irrespective of need.
The pupil premium is a Government initiative that targets extra money at pupils from deprived backgrounds, which research shows underachieve compared to their peers. The premium is provided in order to support these pupils in reaching their potential. It is in addition to any funding the pupil may receive to support their special educational needs.The Government have used pupils entitled to Free School meals as an indicator for deprivation, and have deployed a fixed amount of money to schools per pupil, based on the number of pupils registered for Free School meals. This fixed amount of money will increase every year of the course of this current Parliament. We will be using the indicator of those eligible for Free School meals as our target children to ‘narrow the gap’ regarding attainment.
The Government are not dictating how schools should spend this money, but are clear that schools will need to employ the strategies that they know will support their pupils to increase their attainment, and ‘narrow the gap’. Schools will be accountable for narrowing the gap, and there is a planned reform to the school performance tables to include new measures that show the attainment of pupils who receive the pupil premium compared with their peers. This expectation applies to special schools where there is a focus on expected rates of progress in comparison to national data sets. (Progression Guidance)
In order to meet the above requirements, the Governing Body of the School will ensure that provision is made which secures the teaching and learning opportunities that meet the needs of all pupils. Our priority will be to ‘narrow the gap’ for those pupils not on track to achieve the individual targets set for them. As part of the additional provision made for pupils who belong to vulnerable groups, the Governors of the school will ensure that the needs of socially disadvantaged pupils are adequately assessed and addressed through termly pupil progress meetings, and planned and recorded intervention strategies.
In making provision for socially disadvantaged pupils, the Governors of the school recognise that not all pupils who receive free school meals will be socially disadvantaged. The Governors also recognise that not all pupils who are socially disadvantaged are registered or qualify for free school meals. The Governors reserve the right to allocate the Pupil Premium funding to support any pupil, or groups of pupils the school has legitimately identified as being socially disadvantaged or vulnerable pupils.
The governing body will consider the information provided from the Curriculum Committee relating to the progress of the school’s socially disadvantaged pupils.
The Governors will ensure that there is an annual statement to the parents on how the Pupil Premium funding has been used to address the issue of ‘narrowing the gap’, for socially disadvantaged pupils. This task will be carried out within the requirements published by the Department for Education.