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Pupil Premium

Rugby Free Secondary School is committed to providing a positive and engaging learning experience for all students.

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Inclusive education is 

essential because school is 

enhanced by inclusion, 

diminshed without it. 

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Should you require further advice and guidance in addition to the information below, please contact Mr Laity on mark.laity@rugbyfreesecondary.co.uk

The Pupil Premium is one of the most important tools we have to address the stubborn link between family income and education outcomes. Used purposefully, it can help tackle some of the barriers that stand in the way of eligible pupils’ progress.

Please clicks the attachment to the left to see our action plan to address the barriers that Pupil Premium students face. 

Research has found that disadvantaged students have been worst affected by the impact of the pandemic. It is therefore more important than ever that school strategies focus on support for disadvantaged students’. (EEF, 2021)

 

National Context:

Taken from (www.gov.uk, 2021):

 

  • Disadvantaged students tend to have lower educational attainment compared to their peers.

  • This attainment gap exists by 9 months by the end of Year 6 (1 academic year) and by 18 months by the end of Year 11 (2 academic years).

  • The attainment gap has stopped closing for the first time in over a decade. • This has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  •  The Office for Fiscal Studies shows that at the current rate of change, it will take 560 years for the attainment gap to be equalised.

  • Statistically, there are more families north of London that are classified as being disadvantaged. (www.northernpowerhousepartnership.co.uk 2022)

The Six Central Barriers: (Taken from EEF, 2021)

 

1. Technological Access: There is less access to technology. In several cases, access to technology is shared. In other instances, there is a lack of internet in the household.

2. Aspirations & Understanding: In several cases, there is a generational lack of aspiration, with many students encouraged to follow in the footsteps of their family members. Some disadvantaged households shy away from support mechanisms, sometimes due to embarrassment.

3. Parental Engagement & Support: There are often increased pressures placed on disadvantaged students to earn money, as opposed to studying at home. The need for survival often outweighs delayed gratification.

4. Time: Studies indicate that on average, a non-disadvantaged student in secondary school works for 5.8 hours per week outside of school hours - this compares to 4.5 hours per week for a disadvantaged student.

5. Attendance: Disadvantaged students tend to have lower attendance than their non-disadvantaged counterparts. This is particularly evident when there are key events occurring, such as Mock Exams. Attendance to additional sessions after-school also tend to be lower for disadvantaged students.

6. Qualifications: Some schools narrow the curriculum, meaning that students do not sit qualifications that showcase their holistic skills.

 

Our analysis and school-based research indicates that Barrier 1 is the most prevalent across year groups at RFSS, and that Barrier 2 is particularly common within Key Stage 4. Barrier 5 is also a significant issue in Year 11, with numerous legacy school-refusers (many of whom are PP). Barrier 6 is something being addressed within the Year 9 Options process.

 

The Seven Steps to Success: (Taken from EEF, 2021):

 

1. What happens in the classroom makes the biggest difference: improving teaching quality generally leads to greater improvements at lower cost than structural changes. Good teaching for all pupils has a particular benefit for disadvantaged pupils.

 

2. Targeted small group and one-to-one interventions have the potential for the largest immediate impact on attainment.

 

3. The transition between phases of education – notably early years to primary, and primary to secondary – is a risk-point for vulnerable learners. Year 7 often sees the gap widen further and never recover.

 

4. Catch up is difficult: we should aim to get it right first time round for all children.

 

5. Literacy is a vital component for disadvantaged students and there is no excuse for not deploying the existing, extensive evidence to support the teaching of it.

 

6. Essential life skills (or ‘character’) are important in determining life chances and can be measured in a robust and comparable way. Much less is known, however, about how these skills can be developed and whether they lead to increased academic attainment.

 

7. Sharing effective practice between schools – and building capacity and effective mechanisms for doing so – is key to closing the gap.

 

Our Approach:

 

At RFSS, our plan is rooted in research and best practice that then been evaluated adapted for our context. The primary foundations for our plan have centred on the EEF’s Guide to Supporting School Planning: A Tiered Approach - and this piece of work underpins the priorities, actions and barriers for Catch-Up at RFSS. The context of our school reflects the themes and patterns from national research, but strategies have been tailored to needs of our students and their families.

 

When compiling potential actions for this academic year, consideration was given to the three tiers explained in the aforementioned EEF publication, which are as follows:

 

1. Teaching

2. Targeted Academic Support

3. Wider Strategies

Consequently, all actions and strategies are mapped against these three tiers, with research used to support the implementation of, and rationale behind, these strategies. Therefore, our strategies relate not just to the academic progress of students, but to their development as a whole.

 

We work hard to ensure that assumptions about the lower expectations of disadvantaged students, and their families, are not made and that diagnostic assessments are used to plan flight paths to map minimum expected progress. All students are taught to strive for maximum progress and attainment, throughout all years and subjects.

 

The research is consistent with surveys of parents and teachers on access to education during the pandemic, which indicates disparities in access to technology and levels of parental support -one potential explanation for why gaps might open between groups of students. The recent evidence is also consistent with prior research, which shows differential learning loss during summer holidays and other school closures, which is summarised in the EEF rapid evidence assessment on school closures. These studies have also influenced the thought process behind the interventions and strategies that have been implemented.

 

It is important to note at this point, the significant challenges that the school has faced prior to the existing Leadership Team joining. Issues such as low staff morale and challenges in recruiting reputable teaching staff led to a poor reputation in the local community; something the new Leadership Team have worked hard to improve since their appointments, ensuring that communication, relationships and community are at the centre of what we do at RFSS. The school is now rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and has become very popular with record numbers of students in Year 7 (213) and a blossoming Sixth Form (192). The increasing numbers have led to an increase in FSM, Pupil Premium and EAL students.

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