Research data, given to the Government, states that the social background of a child is a deciding factor in their achievement and future prospects.
The data states that, ‘In a fair society, it is the Government’s responsibility to close the gap in achievement, where the children from less well off backgrounds are less likely to leave school with five good GCSEs,’ compared to their more well off classmates. Research has also suggested that children who have been eligible for Free School Meals at any point in their school career have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible.
Consequently the Government has allocated extra funding, known as Pupil Premium, which is to be targeted towards pupils who fall into this category. There is also additional funding for looked after children and the children of armed forces personnel. Schools are permitted to spend the funding as they see fit, however they are held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support these pupils.
As part of this accountability, schools are required to publish online information about the additional provision they have put in place for children through using the Pupil Premium. Schools must report their known funding allocation up to the end of the financial year. When commenting on how successful schools use the Pupil Premium to narrow the attainment gap, the Department of Education states: ‘Evidence shows that the most effective schools achieve this through a combination of high quality teaching, strong leadership, a relevant and coherent curriculum, a culture of high expectations and targeted catch-up and enrichment activities.’
Click on the following links to read the pupil premium strategy for this and previous years: