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Getting the Most Out of Pupil Premium in 2024/25

About 26 days ago By Michelle Tilley

Students Schooling Uniform Backpack

Headteachers and school leaders know the challenges and opportunities the pupil premium presents. The pupil premium grant provides funding to improve education for disadvantaged pupils in state-funded schools in England. This funding is vital to levelling the educational playing field, making it crucial to allocate and spend it wisely.

Maximising your pupil premium: strategies

Maximising school budgets and ensuring optimal use of the funding can be a challenging task for schools. The most beneficial decisions about pupil premium spending are based on understanding the specific challenges eligible pupils face. This should be followed by a review of the evidence to identify which actions are most likely to have favourable outcomes.

To ensure you're maximising the impact of your pupil premium funding, consider the following strategies: 

  • Data-driven decision-making: Utilise data to identify gaps in attainment and target resources. By analysing performance metrics, you can tailor interventions to individual pupils' needs.

  • Take a school-wide approach: Pupil premium should not be seen as a standalone initiative but integrated into the wider school improvement plan. This ensures a cohesive and inclusive approach to raising standards for all pupils.

  • Staff training and development: Ensure that all staff understand the importance of the pupil premium and how to apply it effectively. Continuous professional development can provide teachers with the skills to address the issues that disadvantaged pupils face.

How schools use the pupil premium

While schools have a degree of autonomy, they must spend the funding in line with evidence-based strategies that are known to be effective. This includes:

  • supporting high-quality teaching

  • providing targeted academic support

  • tackling non-academic barriers to success.

Extra support

Investing in providing extra support can help address barriers to learning such as poor literacy or numeracy skills, a lack of confidence, or gaps in learning due to absence. Strategies to support pupils include: 

  • Providing one-to-one or small group support within the classroom.

  • Employing teaching assistants to help support teachers and the class.

  • Offering catch-up sessions before or after school to help pupils keep up with their peer group.

  • Creating a school breakfast club to improve attendance and concentration levels.

  • Giving extra tuition to enable pupils who need to catch up with their studies or may need tutoring due to special educational needs (SEN).

Supporting attendance 

Recent data on absenteeism underscores the alarming rise in absenteeism rates across schools. Attendance is a key priority for OFSTED and plays an important role in a learner’s education. 

Pupil premium funding can be used to help with attendance. Improving attendance is a key part of helping disadvantaged pupils reach their full potential. Schools can use pupil premiums to implement strategies that encourage regular attendance, such asattendance mentors. The programme from Protocol Education provides intensive support to pupils with attendance issues. Mentors work with them to find out why the pupil is missing school. They also: 

  • Support absent pupils to get back into school.

  • Focus on the personal and learning objectives the schools set.

  • Develop a trusting and open relationship with the pupils they work with.

Maximise PP impact through strategic planning

The pupil premium strategy evolves each year. Spending money is straightforward; spending it wisely takes time. Understanding specific challenges, enhancing awareness of the evidence base, and developing a long-term planning process are key steps in achieving this. Schools are accountable for demonstrating the impact of their pupil premium spending on pupil outcomes. So, it is therefore important to spend it wisely.

Review regularly: Adapt when needed 

The needs of your pupils will evolve, and so will your strategies. Regularly review the impact of your pupil premium spending and be prepared to adapt your approach in response to feedback and results.

Protocol Education: Supporting pupil premium

The pupil premium is not only a funding stream; it’s an opportunity to drive change for the pupils who need it most. Protocol Education is dedicated to helping schools maximise the benefits of their pupil premium funding. School leaders, head teachers, and governing bodies must make informed decisions on how to spend the pupil premium effectively.

While Protocol Education does not decide on pupil premium spending, our team can talk to school leadership to understand the needs of disadvantaged pupils and provide guidance on solutions.

To learn how we can support you with your pupil premium for 2024/25 contact your local branch.