Primary school budgeting – What does value for money look like at Green Park School?

By Liz Nightingale, Headteacher 

With the new budget looming along with expected cuts, it is important we still focus on best value when evaluating and meeting the individual needs of our pupils over the next academic year. Pupil progress meetings and data analysis at this mid-way point are already highlighting the impact on those pupils in each year group who are receiving one-to-one support or group interventions. So what should we continue with and what is enabling the most progress and building the most confidence?

Meeting the needs of individual pupils

A detailed understanding of each individual pupil allows us to analyse how best to meet their needs in a bespoke and cost effective way. We always look at ‘the whole child’ – what are their barriers to achievement? How can we break these down? Where are their strengths and weaknesses? Are there trends in certain areas of learning or specific groups? Are any of these children entitled to pupil premium?

Value for money weighed against impact

From this analysis and a view of what is needed for whole school improvement, we can begin to plan where the budget is best spent. Value for money is always measured in terms of impact compared to the amount spent per child. The impact of Third Space Learning on our pupils has always been huge, both in terms of levels progress and pupil confidence. In contrast to employing a teacher to do catch up work with ten pupils for 45 minutes each day, it is a total ‘no brainer’ when planning it into the budget each year.

Evidence of budgeting on outcomes

The use of such a tailored support programme also enables me to document the use of pupil premium funding, including the impact on pupil progress. Year on year, this means we can evidence the direct impact of our budgeting on outcomes for pupils. The data shows good progress and pupil interviews tell us they feel more confident and able to tackle problems.

Maths catch-up and pupil premium

So we are at the point of budget planning again and allocating funds for most impact. Third Space will be planned in for both Maths catch up and pupil premium needs. The children make the progress but most of all they love it. And that is what counts as far as we are concerned.

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