As the September term starts, headteachers may be thinking about how they will use their Pupil Premium payments to help close the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
The pupil premium is extra money for schools to help disadvantaged pupils, and headteachers have flexibility in how they use it. It is up to headteachers to decide how to spend their pupil premium so that it supports students who need it most.
Headteachers need to spend their pupil premium in line with a ‘menu’ of approaches. These are based on expert evidence of what works when it comes to improving the outcomes of disadvantaged children.
The three main areas where spending can take place include:
Supporting high-quality teaching, and could include staff professional development.
Providing academic support, such as tutoring.
Tackling non-academic barriers to educational success. This could include difficulties with attendance, behaviour, and wellbeing.
While the pupil premium funding is to help raise the attainment of disadvantaged children, many effective ways to do this - including improving the quality of teaching - will benefit other groups of pupils..
There is guidance on spending the pupil premium funding for school leaders and those involved in allocating pupil premium spending in schools, such as academy trust leadership, trustees, and governors. Here are some examples of how headteachers are spending Pupil Premium payments include:
Resources, Materials and IT equipment
Pupil Premium funds can buy educational resources, textbooks, and learning materials. These resources should support their learning needs and help them overcome barriers to achievement. Investing in IT resources and specialist tech, such as laptops or tablets, can help disadvantaged pupils access online learning and resources in line with many of their peers. They can also develop their digital skills, which are key to employment in this digital age.
Some headteachers use Pupil Premium funding to provide extracurricular activities. These could include sports clubs, music lessons, or school trips. These activities can enhance the educational experience for disadvantaged pupils, help them improve their social skills and confidence, and not miss out on activities they might not otherwise have access to.
Addressing the wellbeing and emotional needs of disadvantaged pupils is important. Headteachers can allocate funds to access counselling services, pastoral care, or mental health support to help pupils overcome challenges outside the classroom that may affect their education.
Professional Development for Teachers
Funding can provide training and professional development for teachers and school support staff. The funding can be used to support the recruitment and retention of teaching staff, for example, by providing cover time to undertake professional development such as National Professional Qualifications (NPQs). This can help improve the quality of teaching and learning in the school, benefiting all students.
Protocol Education Support
Protocol Education provides staffing for one-to-one tuition and intervention. This extra support can help these pupils catch up with their peers and make progress.
Schools can invest in pupil intervention programmes and other initiatives designed to enhance the academic progress of disadvantaged pupils. This might include literacy and numeracy catch-up schemes or mentoring programmes. The approach and type of intervention depend on the individual needs of the student.
Hiring more Teaching Staff
Schools may hire extra teachers or teaching assistants to provide small group or one-on-one support for disadvantaged pupils. Pupil premium can be spent on employing teaching assistants (TAs) to support teachers and learning in the classroom. While their duties vary between schools, TAs provide targeted academic support, which results in a positive impact on achievement.
Identify Pupil Premium-funding students who would benefit from extra support and allocate resources.
These are pupils who may be at risk of falling behind or need targeted intervention to bridge learning gaps.
Individualised learning plans
Develop individualised learning plans that address each pupil's needs and align with their learning goals.
Pupil Premium payments can fund more resources, materials, or tutoring services that support these plans.
Regular progress monitoring
Establish a system to monitor and track the progress of Pupil Premium pupils within the tuition programme.
Use the data gathered to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and make data-driven decisions to further support pupil achievement.
Small group tutoring and revision workshops help learners improve their subject knowledge, develop their exam technique, reduce stress, and improve motivation. Small group tutoring can be a good option for pupil premium spending. This funding can go towards regular supplementary classes or one-day revision workshops.
Protocol Education delivers the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). All state-funded primary, middle, and secondary schools, and academies in England with pupils in years 1 to 11 who are eligible for the pupil premium (PP) will receive an NTP grant. The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is funded through the school's budget. Funding can also be drawn from pupil premium. The School-Led Tutoring Grant gives schools the resources they need to start closing the education gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
Protocol Education provides qualified teachers for all subjects and key stages. Headteachers can work with Protocol Education to recruit qualified and experienced teachers and support staff. These staff members can be chosen to work with disadvantaged pupils and provide targeted support.
If the school identifies a need for specialist support in areas such as special educational needs (SEN), English as an additional language (EAL), or other areas, Protocol Education can assist in finding staff with the expertise. Daily, Protocol Education provides teachers and support assistants for special schools and SEND in the mainstream.
In cases where temporary or flexible staff are needed to cover staff absences, Protocol Education can provide qualified and vetted substitute teachers and support staff. This ensures that the learning of disadvantaged pupils is not disrupted.
Protocol Education Supporting Pupil Premium
Protocol Education wants to support schools in making the best use of the pupil premium. Headteachers need to make the right choice when it comes to how they spend Pupil Premium funds. Schools need to report on the effectiveness of their spending and how it has improved the educational outcomes of eligible pupils.
While Protocol Education does not make decisions about Pupil Premium spending, the team can work with the school's leadership to understand the needs of disadvantaged pupils and offer guidance on solutions to address those challenges.
To discuss how we can help support you with your pupil premiums this academic year, contact your local branch.