All members of staff and governors accept responsibility for ‘socially disadvantaged’ pupils and are committed to meeting their pastoral, social and academic needs. This is an essential part of the ethos of the whole school community. Children who are considered to be ‘socially disadvantaged’ are, like all other children in our care, valued, respected and entitled to reach their full potential.
The Pupil Premium is a Government initiative that targets extra money at pupils in Years 7 to 11 from deprived backgrounds (known as disadvantaged pupils). Research shows that these pupils underachieve compared to their non-deprived peers, and the premium is provided to help them to achieve their potential.
The Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) is received at the start of each financial year; the amount of funding received is based on the number of disadvantaged pupils on roll at the school in the January School Census prior to the start of the financial year. The definition of a disadvantaged pupil (as defined through the Pupil Premium) is as follows:
- a pupil who has been registered for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the previous six years; or
- a pupil who has been looked after by the local authority for at least one day; or
- a pupil who has been adopted from care under the Adoption and Children Act 2002; or
- a pupil who has left care under a Special Guardianship or Residence Order; or
- the child of service personnel.
The Government does not dictate how schools should spend this money, but is clear that schools will need to employ the strategies that they know will support their disadvantaged pupils and to ‘narrow the gap.' Schools will be accountable for narrowing the gap, and school performance tables have been changed to include new measures that show how the attainment of pupils who receive the pupil premium compares with that of their peers.
The Key Objective
That disadvantaged students at Phoenix can stand shoulder to shoulder with a student from a private school and compete for the same university place or job interview and that they can do this through securing high academic outcomes and having developed key life skills; not through having their achievement contextualised.
Ultimately we believe that to achieve this objective, the most effective way to use Pupil Premium Funding (PPF) is to ensure that all students receive 30 highly effective lessons each week from well trained, highly competent and well supported staff. We recognise that pupils eligible for Pupil Premium Funding are not one homogenous group and so we believe that high expectations for all means high expectations for every disadvantaged student. Therefore at Phoenix we believe that this is the best way for us to guarantee that every student, regardless of background, has access to our twin pillars of a rigorous academic curriculum combined with educational enrichment. To this end we use PPF in a highly selective fashion to ensure every young person at Phoenix receives a diet of high quality teaching and wider life experiences that develop them beyond the classroom.