All schools face a challenge in evidencing the impact of how effectively they spend their PPG allocation. This is because some of the benefits are difficult to measure, such as a child's sense of well-being, or the longer-term benefit of the input they are receiving at this point. Also, we are inevitably seeking to measure the impact of the use of the funding against what would have happened if we hadn't had the money, which is difficult to determine with any accuracy.
However, at Willow Bank Junior School we look at a range of factors, including: the academic progress made by the children; the impact of specific interventions such as nurture groups, small-group support and phonics teaching; the children's attendance and punctuality, and learning behaviour in school; their engagement in extra-curricular activities and wider-school involvement; their skills and abilities developed in extra-curricular activities; the ways in which they represent the school at activities and events; the responses of parents and carers regarding their children's attainment and progress, in particular any changes that they have noted; personality profiles which look at areas such as social inclusion, self-esteem and personal aspiration.
Because every child is an individual, with their own barriers to learning and their own strengths and skills, the balance of each of these areas of evidence of impact will vary from child to child, but we seek to get a view across the board for each child, rather than focus on one or two areas, as we believe this will give us the best representation not just of present impact, but of the long-term value of what we are doing to support disadvantaged children, and of how we might develop and improve this in the future.