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Priory Woods School & Arts College

Priory Woods School & Arts College A Special Place to Learn

Pupil Premium Policy 2016 -2017

Updated: April 2016

To be Reviewed: April 2017


All members of staff and governors accept responsibility for ‘socially disadvantaged’ pupils and are committed to meeting their pastoral, social and academic need within a caring special school environment.   This is an essential, integral part of the supportive ethos of the whole school community.   As with every child in our care, a child who is considered to be ‘socially disadvantaged’ is valued, respected and entitled to develop his / her full potential irrespective of need.


The pupil premium is a government initiative that targets extra funding at pupils from deprived backgrounds, which research shows underachieve compared to their non-deprived peers.   The premium is provided in order to support these pupils in reaching their potential.   It is in addition to any funding that the pupil may receive for their special educational needs.

The government have used pupils entitled to free school meals over the last six-year period as an indicator for deprivation, and have deployed a fixed amount of funding to schools per pupil, based on the number of pupils registered for free school meals.   Additional funding is also allocated to schools for any child that is ‘looked after’ or whose parent / carers are employed by HM Services.   The Pupil Premium will increase every year of the course of this current government.

The government is not dictating how schools should spend this funding, but are clear that schools will need to employ the strategies that they know will support their pupils to increase their attainment, and ‘narrow the gap’.   Schools will be accountable for narrowing the gap, and there is a planned reform to the school performance tables to include new measures that show the attainment of pupils who receive the Pupil Premium compared with their peers.   This expectation applies to special schools where there is a focus on expected rates of progress in comparison to national data sets (progression guidance).


In order to meet the above requirements, the governing body of Priory Woods School will ensure that the provision is made which secures the teaching and learning opportunities that meet the needs of all pupils.   Our priority is to focus on ‘narrowing the gap’ for those pupils not on track to achieve the individual targets set of them.

As part of the additional provision made for pupils who belong to vulnerable groups, the governors of the school will ensure that the needs of socially disadvantaged pupils are adequately assessed and addressed through pupil progress meetings, and planned and recorded intervention strategies.   Governors also recognise that not all pupils who receive free school meals will be socially disadvantaged.   Similarly, not all pupils who are socially disadvantaged are registered or qualify for free school meals.   The governors reserve the right to allocate the Pupil Premium funding to support any pupil, or groups of pupils the school has legitimately identified as being socially disadvantaged or vulnerable.

The range of provision will cover the following:-

  • Facilitating pupils access to education
  • Facilitating pupils access to broader curriculum opportunities
  • Additional teaching and learning opportunities
  • Alternative support and intervention
  • Facilitate individual pupil development.


The evaluation of this policy is based on how quickly the school can ‘narrow the gap’ between socially disadvantaged pupils and their peers.   Targets will be identified and evaluated annually and included in the school development plan.   The success criteria are:

  • Early intervention and support for socially disadvantaged children
  • The vast majority of socially disadvantaged children will meet their individual targets
  • Effective parental-pupil school support
  • Having an effective system for identifying, assessing and monitoring pupils
  • Having a whole school approach
  • Create a positive school atmosphere in which pupils’ differences are recognised and valued as full members of the school community developing confident and independent learners


Funding for the free school meal element of the Pupil Premium was allocated to Priory Woods School for the financial year 2016/17 based on an estimate of 82 pupils.   The funding in April 2016 has been set at £1,320 per primary aged pupil and £935 for Secondary aged pupils thus this equates to £95065.00.

There are also 8 Looked after pupils with LAC funding of £8,800


The main barriers for learning for this group of pupils are:-

  • With a number of pupils their learning difficulties make it very difficult for them to access learning in classroom sessions, so additional support and an alternative approach is often required.
  • Pupils learning and physical disabilities also often make it difficult for pupils to access learning and therefore additional bespoke support is provided within school.
  • Attendance and punctuality can often be an issue and the PSA works with families to ensure that this is improved along with greater parental engagement with school.
  • Emotional issues can also be a barrier to learning with a number of pupils and the school has adopted the Thrive approach to provide support to these pupils.
  •  Extended School activities and residentials are hugely beneficial for all pupils yet for free school meals pupils cost can often be a barrier.

To assist with early intervention and support for socially disadvantaged children the pupil premium is used to

  1.  To Fund a Specialist Teaching Assistant in to facilitate a small class base facility to be accessed by targeted students to provide a specifically adapted Sensory Curriculum to promote positive behaviour and learning throughout school.
  2. Staffing costs to fund targeted bespoke interventions in both Upper and Lower School by HLTA’s to ensure pupils are able to reach individually challenging targets. 
  3. To assist with family support, the pupil premium also funds a Parent Support Advisor (PSA) who works 22.5 hours a week at a cost of £11,922.   This service provides better links with both parents and carers. The PSA works closely with a number of the school's disadvantaged families providing much needed support to ensure that pupils are able to access all opportunities available within school, thus improving outcomes.  The PSA also works closely with the school’s admin team to monitor school days lost and address any attendance on a daily basis.
  4. To address the issues of the emotional well-being of pupils through the use of the Thrive Approach within school. 
  5. To provide financial support as required in order that pupils can take part in school trips / residential.
  6. To provide extra staffing within certain groups within school to ensure that identified pupils receive the necessary physical support.
  7. Redesign and re-designation of a classroom and the purchasing of specialist sensory equipment for a PMLD cohort of students to improve provision and  outcomes.

Planned spending for the Academic Year 2016 – 2017


Impact Measure


Funding of Specialist Teaching Assistant in Lower school.


To facilitate a class based facility to be accessed by targeted students to provide a specifically adapted curriculum including focused language and communication and behaviour for learning through bespoke programmes for identified pupils.

Pupil’s behaviour for learning and development


Improvement and progress in relation to pupil’s language and communication skills.



Bespoke timetabled Interventions

By HLTA’s.


50% of HLTA costs in both Upper and Lower school.


To accelerate progress across school and ensure that the needs of gifted and talented pupils are also met.



100% pupils make progress against their individual targets.








To support the costs of Breakfast Club to ensure that pupils are ready to learn.




Attitude and behaviour of pupils in lessons. –attendance at Breakfast Club.





The funding of 3 days of a PSA to support parents/families, address and action on attendance issues, liaise with Multi Agency workers




Further engagement with/ support provided for parents.


Continued improvement in attendance and punctuality.





To address the emotional and personal well being of pupils.


Through the use of the Thrive approach students are assessed; profiled and identified issues and needs are addressed.


One morning a week 2 Teachers and a Teaching Assistant are allocated for specific work with identified children.

(80 % charged)



Staff Thrive Training – parents course

To train staff to work with parents using the Thrive approach.




The addressing of the personal, social and emotional needs of pupils allowing their barriers to learning and development to be identified and support given.




£8,800 Teachers


£1,777Teaching     Assistant











Residentials/ Financial Support


To provide support with both funding, and clothing to enable all young people to access the valuable experience that residential offer.


To provide additional places to LAC / Pupil Premium pupils on Erasmus project to increase life experiences confidence and self-esteem.


To provide financial support as required toallow pupils to excel / develop self esteem through sport / music lessons as appropriate.




  • The enabling of pupils to have positive experiences away from the family home. The development of pupil independence, confidence and self esteem in new environments.


  • Pupil independence confidence / self esteem.









To provide extra staffing to ensure that selected pupils receive the necessary support to meet their physical needs.



  • Improved access to the curriculum allowing all pupils to make the expected levels of progress.




Total spend