In April 2011 the Government announced the launch of Pupil Premium, additional funding to schools to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
The funding is allocated on the basis of those students who:
- have received Free School Meals at some point in the past 6 years
- have been in Care for at least 6 months
- have a parent in the armed forces
Pupil Premium is allocated to schools with the freedom to spend the funding in the ways they deem most appropriate in addressing their students’ needs. Although schools are held accountable to monitor and report upon how the funding is spent on an annual basis.
Research suggests that disadvantaged students on average:
- Have less home support than their peers
- Have weaker language and communication skills
- Are more likely to have significant difficulties in basic literacy and numeracy skills
- Experience more frequent behaviour difficulties
- Are less likely to believe that they can control events that affect them
At Spires Academy we have a strong belief that quality first teaching is a priority to support students improve their skills, knowledge and understanding. Emphasis is placed on improving and investing in teaching and learning to ensure students get taught by a quality teacher rather than withdrawal for intervention.
Kent operates a selective system which filters a larger proportion of disadvantaged students to non-selective schools. In Spires Academy 45% of our students are eligible for Pupil Premium funding which is significantly higher than the national figure. It also means by definition disadvantaged students are not a small subgroup of the main Academy population. We recognise that each individual student has different needs, concerns and aspirations. The Academy is committed to diminishing the difference in both attainment and achievement across a range of measures for all our disadvantaged students.