Pupil Premium Statement 2015-2016

Overview

Every school has a duty to ensure that every child is given the best possible chance of achieving his/her potential. The Government provides Pupil Premium funding, which is additional to the core school funding, to help address national inequalities between the achievements of children eligible for free school meals, children in care, children adopted from local authority care, and those with parents in the armed forces.

The Pupil Premium is allocated to schools based on the number of students who are known to be eligible for free school meals, or who have been eligible at some point in the last six years, children who have been continuously in local authority care for more than six months, children who have been adopted from local authority care, and children with a parent in the armed forces now or within the past five years. It is for the school to decide how the Pupil Premium is spent, as the school is best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for individual students in its care.

The focus of our strategy is to promote progress and well-being and to remove barriers to learning for students eligible for this funding. We nurture skills and talents and we enable children who qualify for Pupil Premium to have full access to extra-curricular activities.

Penrith is located in a sparsely populated rural area, where unemployment is low. Average wages however are also low, even though house prices and rents remain comparatively high.

Life can be very difficult for some families, who once qualified for such benefits as free school meals, but now find that the thresholds for application have risen.

Other families may find rural isolation a problem, and the impact of recent flooding cannot be underestimated. It has been very difficult at times for some families to access school, shops, medical and leisure facilities, because of strategic routes being blocked and traffic diverted. For families with a low income it can be particularly difficult to overcome difficulties associated with recovery and repair after floods. This has also been a stressful time for those whose income is based on tourism or agriculture, and those in the emergency services.

It is hoped that the Pupil Premium will help children from low-income families to achieve their potential and thrive in a school that is socially inclusive.

How does the school promote the Pupil Premium?

We encourage all parents to apply for free school meals if they think a child may be eligible. Regular reminders are sent by Parentmail. We ask parents to contact the school for detailed information, or to apply directly to: http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/childrensservices/schoolsandlearning/fsm.asp

Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Chapman, contacts all parents to make them aware of the funding streams available to support children and provides the following information:

Pupil Premium

If your child is in Year 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 and receives free school meals or has received free school meals at any point in the past six years, or has been adopted from Local Authority care, or has a parent in the armed services either now or within the past five years, he or she is also entitled to additional funding for curricular visits and equipment. This funding has already been placed directly into school budgets, to be spent on individual children. Please do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything your child needs to support him or her at school.

We take a Piaget-based approach in our approach to using Pupil Premium funding, and try to address basic needs first by ensuring that children are eating regular meals and have appropriate clothing and shoes, before addressing wider issues to support inclusion and eventually academic success, creativity and self-fulfilment.

Recently we have been able to support children by paying for breakfasts, lunches, school uniform and shoes, clothing and equipment for residential trips, revision materials, musical instruments and lessons, sports equipment, laptop computers, extra support for school subjects, and school trips, including the Year 7 Black Forest trip, Year 8 Residential Outdoors Activities trip, German and French exchange trips and the Year 9 Berlin trip, as well as shorter visits such as theatre, concert and film trips.

Please contact Mrs Chapman to access this funding.

16-19 Bursary

If your child is in Year 12 or 13 and meets any of the following criteria:

  • is in receipt of free school meals
  • is in receipt of income support
  • family qualifies for means-tested benefits
  • is in Local Authority care
  • is a care leaver
  • is a carer
  • is disabled

then funding is available to help with curricular trips and equipment to support learning.

Often we will match fund the more expensive trips, such as the Venice art trip or the Iceland expedition. We can also help with funding for travel to and from school, which is particularly important in rural Cumbria, where we have one of the largest and most sparsely populated catchment areas of any school in the country. We support our 16-19 Bursary students through the UCAS process and will pay for UCAS applications and transport for university visits, as well as the fees for re-sitting AS examinations.

Application forms are available online from the school website. Go to the ‘Policies’ section and then to ’Bursary 16-19 Policy’.

Free School Meals

If you think your child might be eligible for free school meals, please contact Mrs Richards through reception, to find out how to apply. If you prefer to contact the local authority directly, you can do so by clicking on the link below:

http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/childrensservices/schoolsandlearning/fsm.asp

Even if your child chooses not to eat school lunches, the application will ensure that other funding (Pupil Premium or 16-19 Bursary) becomes available for your child.

School uniform

School uniform can be very expensive to purchase and is quickly outgrown. We encourage families to make use of our excellent recycled uniform shop at school reception. Parents and pupils are welcome to visit the shop during school hours and to make a small payment in exchange for items of uniform. We also welcome donations of outgrown uniform.

Pupil Premium will cover purchases, and can also be used to purchase new uniform, shoes and equipment.

How do we use the Pupil Premium in this school?

Mrs Gall writes to the parents of all children who qualify for Pupil Premium to consult them about their children’s learning needs, and allocates funding after discussion with the Senior Management Team.

  • The Pupil Premium is used to close the gap between the achievement of eligible pupils and their peers.
  • As far as its powers allow, the school will use the additional funding to address any underlying inequalities between children eligible for Pupil Premium and others.
  • We will ensure that the additional funding reaches the pupils who need it most and that it makes a significant impact on their education and lives.

How much funding does the school receive?

In the academic year 2015-2016 Queen Elizabeth Grammar School receives £935 per child Pupil Premium, for children in Years 7 to 11 who receive free school meals or have received free school meals at any point in the past six years. £1900 is allocated to each child who is or has been in Local Authority Care.

The school receives £300 for each child who has a parent in the armed forces or a parent who has left the armed forces within the past 5 years. This does not include reserves.

There are 27 children in Years 7 to 11 who fall into one or more Pupil Premium categories, yielding a total income this academic year of £23,802.08.

Table of Expenditure 2015/16:  
Income from Pupil Premium £23,802.08
   
Expenditure  
Trips & Visits 8,862.91
Music Lessons / Exams 1,411.85
Learning Resources 3,707.13
Uniform & Equipment 1,196.51
Free School Meals 3,865.35
Staffing to support attendance, behaviour and progress in school 4,758.33
   
Total Expenditure

£23,802.08

 

How well did Pupil Premium pupils achieve, last year?

We are proud of the fact that our six Year 11 Pupil Premium pupils achieved GCSE results which enabled them to access the next stage of their learning. Some are now studying A levels at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and are preparing for university applications, and others have chosen academic pathways in other local schools or colleges. We celebrated their success at our awards evening.

It is difficult to make statistical comparisons, because of the very small size of our Year 11 Pupil Premium cohort. It would be unwise to compare the performance of 6 pupils with that of 114 pupils. We do know, however, that even though there were some individual successes, our Pupil Premium pupils achieved lower overall points scores than their non-Pupil Premium counterparts. However, when compared with the national cohort of Year 11 pupils, the gap between the performance of our Pupil Premium and non-Pupil Premium pupils is considerably narrower that the national gap.

We recognise that we must continue to work hard to address pupils’ needs and that they should remain an important focus for intervention and support.

Some achievements are less easy to quantify, for example:

Children do not go hungry at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and we are proud of the fact that we provide their meals, even if they no longer qualify for free school meals.

By supporting children to attend trips and group activities, individual children have gained a respite from difficult family circumstances in some cases, and have had opportunities that their parents would perhaps not be able to afford.

We have enabled children to excel in sport and music through providing them with specialist equipment and tuition; the investment has boosted personal confidence and opened up possible career paths.

The provision made for Pupil Premium pupils 2013-16:

Curriculum

  • There are lunch time clubs and clinics in all key curriculum areas.
  • No child will be prevented from attending a curricular or extra-curricular trip because of lack of money; trips will be funded, when necessary, by the Pupil Premium or the Margery Howe hardship fund.
  • Talent will be nurtured by supporting students with extra-curricular music and sports equipment, examination fees and tuition.
  • Additional study support is put in place for Pupil Premium students taking GCSE examinations.

Mentoring and Guidance

  • The performance of all children is tracked, individually, by Mrs Bates, and interviews and action plans are put in place when necessary. We pay particular attention to the performance and welfare of all children identified as being eligible for Pupil Premium, and put in place support if needed. This includes Year 12 and 13 pupils who are no longer eligible for Pupil Premium funding but may wish to apply for the 16-19 bursary.
  • All Pupil Premium students have a Year Head mentor and have regular discussions about their school work.
  • Our Attendance and Support Officer works with families, children and outside agencies to help with parenting, attendance and social care issues. We have a strong KS3 and KS4 mentoring programme, in which teachers work with individually targeted students to boost examination performance. This is in addition to the pastoral and academic monitoring by the Tutors and Heads of Year.
  • In Years 12 and 13, individual support is provided by the Tutor Team and Heads of Year.
  • Our Ace Buddy scheme is well established. This is a peer mentoring programme which focusses on academic performance, personal organisation and social skills.
  • SENDCo Mrs Bellas promotes social inclusion through nurture groups such as knitting club and Lego club, and support for developing social skills.
  • The Buddy scheme is a peer support programme in which senior students lead activities for our youngest students, promoting team work and social inclusion.

Purchases

  • We have purchased laptop computers and printers for individual pupils so that they can work effectively at home. This means that they can extend curriculum work in the same way that other children do.
    • Travel grants have been issued.
    • Sports equipment has been purchased to support gifted and talented students, enabling them to build skills and self-confidence.
    • Extra-curricular activities such as dancing lessons, music lessons and cheerleading classes have been paid for to promote social inclusion and positive mental health. This has been particularly beneficial for children who have been affected by rural isolation and low family income.
    • We pay for school trips for children in receipt of Pupil Premium, for example the Black Forest trip in Year 7, the Year 8 residential trip, the German and French exchanges, orchestra trips and theatre trips, to build confidence and widen aspirations. (We also support other curricular and extra-curricular trips).
    • It is important for children to eat regularly and gain appropriate nourishment, if they are to achieve well at school. A ‘QEGS free school meal’ is provided for children who once qualified for free school meals but no longer meet the criteria because of a change in assessment thresholds. These children do not have to pay for their meals because they are subsidised by Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.

Accountability and future planning

The Headteacher and Senior Management Team will monitor, evaluate and review the strategies we have put in place for Pupil Premium and report to the governing body on their progress and impact.

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