For the financial year 2015-16, schools were given £1,300 per child on the pupil premium register, and £1,900 for each child in the adopted from care category. In total, Willow Bank Junior School was allocated £27,100 of Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) funding. The money was spent as follows:
As described in the Impact section, we measure the impact of PPG funding on each child individually, but there are consistent themes. Whilst we had 3 children on PPG with low attendance last year, which brought the average attendance of PPG-eligible children at Willow Bank Junior into line with national averages, in fact 14 out of our 20 eligible children had attendance higher (often significantly so) than the national average, and a 15th would have done so if they had not been absent on the last two days of the year. If we take out the 3 low attenders (all of whom have interventions related to their poor absence, which have led to improvements in 2016-17 to date), the average attendance for the other 17 eligible pupils was 97.79%, close to 2 percentage points above the national average for 2015 for all children.
In terms of attainment, just under half of children eligible for PPG were at or above the expected level in Reading, Writing and Maths in July 2016, though this figure rises to 67% for children without SEN. The government funding formula for PPG (continuing the funding for 6 years after free school meals eligibility has stopped) recognises that it is imperative to develop a longer-term strategy, and we are confident that these percentages will rise as the children continue on their journey through the school. However, it is important to remain aware that behind the statistics are individual children with individual academic needs, which are encompassed within emotional, social and developmental needs.
Although it is harder to quantify, the children in receipt of PPG at Willow Bank make huge progress in terms of self-esteem and belief in their own capabilities and, most crucially, they develop high aspirations for their own future. The longer-term value of this in emotional, academic and economic terms cannot be overstated.
We are extremely proud of the way we support children in our school who are eligible for PPG, as we are of they way in which we support all the children in school, some of whom suffer disadvantage in other ways. We seek to develop as full an understanding as possible of every child's strengths as well as their vulnerabilities, and fundamental to this is to create a school environment in which children feel safe, cared about and listened to. We strongly believe that this is a particular strength of the school, and the extra funding made available through the PPG allows us to sustain and develop the environment, in which the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are empowered to flourish.