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Priory Woods School & Arts College

Priory Woods School & Arts College A Special Place to Learn

Pupil Premium Policy 2015 2016


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 2015/16 based on an estimate of 78 pupils.   The funding in April 2015 has been set at £1,320 per primary aged pupil and £935 for Secondary aged pupils thus this equates to £88,935.

The Looked After element of the Pupil Premium is based on 7 pupils with £900 being paid and a further £1,000 being held centrally by the LA.  This equates to £6,300 coming directly to us with £7,000 being due to be claimed.  This gives a total pupil premium of £95,235 with an additional £7,000 held centrally against which potential claims can be made.

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

a)     Fund a Specialist Teaching Assistant in lower school 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.

b)    To assist with the delivery of Routes for Learning, and targeting enrichment activities. Pupil premium also funds a teaching assistant in upper school – that is to provide a higher staffing ratio within these groups to facilitate a more focused learning environment.

c)    The pupil premium is also used to fund 50% of a Higher Level Teaching Assistant in both Lower and Upper School.  This time is used to provide one to one support time for numeracy and literacy to ensure pupils are able to reach individually challenging targets. 

d)    To assist with parental-pupil 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 carer’s. The PSA works closely with a number of the school' 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 in keeping numbers of school days lost to a minimum and to monitor attendance on a daily basis.

e)    To provide financial support as required in order that pupils can take part in school trips / residential.