Introduced in 2011, the pupil premium is a sum of money given to schools each year by the government to improve the attainment of disadvantaged children – those who are known to be on low incomes or eligible for free school meals currently or at any time in the last six years. It also includes any students who have been looked after in care at any time over the last six years (LAC). In 2017-18, 2.07 million children were eligible for some form of pupil premium funding, the vast majority of which – 1.89 million – were eligible under deprivation criteria. Almost all of the students at LHS who receive PP funding are considered disadvantaged because they meet the deprivation criteria – between 30 and 40% of each year group (4 out of 5 of our KS3-4 year groups are just above national figures).
The aim is to reduce the considerable gap evident in student outcomes between the achievement of those eligible and their non-eligible peers. The attainment gap between children from rich and poor backgrounds is detectable at an early age (22 months) and widens throughout the education system. It is estimated that just 14% variation in individuals’ performance is accounted for by school quality and most is explained by other factors, underlying the need to look at a range of children’s experiences, inside and outside school, when seeking to raise achievement. All schools spend this money in a variety of ways to support students with the aim of narrowing the national gap. The documents below outline our school strategy; there are also some additional case studies which provide an example of the cohorts, specific spending and outcomes for pupil premium students.