Pupil Premium Funding and Allocation Reports
The next review of the school’s pupil premium strategy will be June 2022
Viewley Hill Academy is an average sized primary school in Hemlington, Middlesbrough. We have a high school deprivation indicator: On the Indices of Multiple Deprivation, the catchment of the academy falls in the lowest decile. The percentage of pupils known to be eligible for Free School meals (FSM) is also significantly above the national average: 64.9% compared to 21.6% (GOV.UK 2020-21)
We are an inclusive school with high aspirations for all of our children. We believe that every child is entitled to a first class education which will engage, develop and and prepare them for the next stage of their life’s journey. We are committed to ensuring that any challenges we face in our context are mitigated so that all pupils can reach their full potential, regardless of their starting points.
Objectives of Pupil Premium Spending
The Pupil Premium Grant is aimed at addressing the underlying inequalities which exist between children who are or have been eligible for free school meals and those who are not. There is a national trend of lower attainment within pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, which is why the government provides financial support to schools to close the gap between pupils with disadvantage and those who have none.
Our key objective in using the Pupil Premium Grant is to close the disadvantage gap between pupil groups. We want all children to have high self-esteem; to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers from other areas and to achieve well, attaining high standards. For some of our children there are significant barriers to learning, such as complex family situations, poor language and communication skills, a lack of confidence and self-esteem and poor mental health. All of these can impact on a child’s ability to have a positive self-image and make good progress.
However, this in no way implies that eligibility for free school meals is directly linked to low success at school or challenging home circumstances. As our proportion of FSM is so high (more than two thirds of the school community), our Pupil Premium Grant supports children right across the ability range in school to ensure that every individual child meets their potential.
Closing the disadvantage gap at Viewley Hill Academy
Many of our children start school with very low attainment on entry and our aim is to make sure they make accelerated progress throughout school in order to reach and exceed age-related expectations at the end of their Viewley Hill career.
As a result of the ways in which we spend our Pupil Premium Grant, those children often make accelerated progress and sometimes outperform non-Pupil Premium children in some or all measures. This is obviously influenced by the particular makeup of the cohort which can contain different percentages of higher achieving Pupil Premium pupils and pupil Premium Pupils who also have additional needs.
How do we decide how to allocate the funding?
We use recognised research into the effective use of the Pupil Premium Grant to inform our decision making when we allocate funds. The Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning Toolkit is used to support our decision making. Findings from this research are considered within our school context to inform decision-making around how to best meet the needs of our pupils. The toolkit clearly promotes the understanding that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to effective use of Pupil Premium Funding. As a result, we tailor our provision very much to the specific needs of our children and try to ensure they have the opportunities and experiences that any child anywhere might have, in addition to providing bespoke additional support within and outside of the curriculum.
Our current focuses reflect the national picture and also the challenges of lost learning. Some of these have a clear academic focus, such as learning interventions and additional staff to facilitate smaller learning groups and high quality, responsive individual feedback. However, others have a wider, global impact on the whole child, such as therapeutic interventions, behaviour support and music tuition.
Staff are supported and children in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant are monitored in their attainment and progress by the Deputy Head, part of whose role is as Pupil Premium Champion. SLT ensures quality first teaching and early intervention to help pupils keep up, not catch up. Targeted teaching and learning support is facilitated through a relentless focus on improving attendance and punctuality, while children are given every opportunity to be the best version of themselves through the support of the diverse Welfare Team, led by the Assistant Head.
Please follow the link below to find details on how our funding was allocated and what impact it made.