In April 2011, the Government introduced the Pupil Premium Grant which was additional funding given to schools to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds by closing the attainment gap between them and their more affluent peers. Government and National documents now refer to Pupil Premium students as Disadvantaged students. Schools receive a set amount per pupil registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years (known as Ever6 FSM). Further details of this and other disadvantaged qualifying pupils can be found on the GOV.UK website in the document Pupil Premium: Conditions of Grant 2018-19. Schools can decide how to spend the Pupil Premium grant since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility. In doing so funding is strategically aimed at tackling significant barriers to learning for disadvantaged students within the school and wider community context. This targets and supports pupils who are or are at risk of being vulnerable in terms of poor attendance to school, disengagement, low aspirations, low self-esteem and confidence, and outcomes that are below expectation.
The primary objective is to use the pupil premium funding to ensure pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are well supported to achieve high outcomes that are at least in line with their more affluent peers. National data shows pupils in receipt of free school meals significantly achieve less well compared to their more prosperous peers. The difference in this attainment gap widens as pupils move from primary through to secondary schooling. The key priority is to reduce this difference in attainment and progress for disadvantaged students from their starting points when compared to non-disadvantaged students nationally with the same starting points, thus securing high achievement and successful outcomes, thereby improving life chances.
Waldegrave School Disadvantaged Student Strategy
Our Waldegrave school values ‘Enjoy, achieve, empower’, embodies the culture of the school where each child is valued. We are committed to ensuring the progress, achievement and well-being of all our pupils. To ensure the effectiveness of targeted strategies employed we embed these into our whole school ethos of high aspirations and attainment. All Waldegrave staff are hugely committed to ensuring disadvantaged students are given the same opportunities as their peers through a high quality inclusive educational experience which is designed to meet individual learning needs. Therefore, it is important to recognise that high expectations, great teaching and learning, excellent pastoral care, and strong academic resilience are strands that build the fabric of school life at Waldegrave for all pupils, and through this all pupils including disadvantaged students can reach their full potential irrespective of background or disadvantage.