As a Teach First ambassador, I am extremely passionate about working together to end inequality in education and ensuring that a school’s Pupil Premium budget is used wisely and for maximum effect. This article is a summary of presentation I gave recently at the Teach First Impact Conference on who Pupil Premium can be used for and the most effective pupil premium strategies to support them.

My journey from Teach First to Pupil Premium support expert

I currently help primary Maths teachers across the country implement Third Space Learning in their classrooms as a KS2 Maths intervention strategy. I help pupils receive one-to-one online Maths tuition from Maths specialists who raise pupils’ attainment and confidence. I completed two years of the Teach First programme and then joined Third Space Learning as an Academic Account Manager where I enjoy building relationships with over 350 schools and ensuring our Maths intervention programmes are delivered smoothly on a daily basis.

I am also completing a Masters in Transformational Leadership through Teach First and when I was teaching Maths, part of my MA was based on my Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) for supporting Free School Meal (FSM) boys in the Maths department. I also had the opportunity to attend Pakeman Primary School’s Pupil Premium workshop, delivered by headteacher Lynne Gavin, an immensely inspiring individual. Her secrets to make the most of your Pupil Premium budget are shared here. Through these experiences, I have started to build up a bank of knowledge on how to support Pupil Premium pupils.

Below is the summary of the presentation titled ‘What is Pupil Premium and how can I support my PP kids effectively’. For more detail, see the link to the presentation at the end of this article.

What is Pupil Premium and how much do schools receive for these pupils?

  • Schools receive funding for each pupil that is registered by their parents for free school meals at any point in the past 6 years.

  • Schools receive £1320 for each primary pupil and £935 for each secondary pupil.

  • In addition schools receive £2,300 for pupils who’ve been in care or currently in care.

What problems can Pupil Premium pupils face at school?

  • Poverty across generations. In many areas, parents of disadvantaged pupils were also from disadvantaged backgrounds themselves so in many situations, this cycle of poverty is continually passed down to each new generation.

  • Not much parental engagement. This leads to limited support at home for pupils and can be very frustrating for teachers and the school as they want to build strong relationships with all parents.

  • These pupils are more likely to make less progress in school. This links to the cultural differences these pupils are affected by from being part of a disadvantaged community and the issues that arise from this such as parental non-engagement and negative attitudes to education.

Why schools use their Pupil Premium funding to pay for 1-to-1 maths tuition

More than half of the 6,000 primary school pupils we work with each year have their maths lessons with us paid for by the Pupil Premium. These pupils often find it more difficult to access the maths curriculum and have built up gaps in learning from key stage 1 which our tutors are able to help plug for them. In addition schools tell us that just having a regular conversation about maths with same trustworthy adult every week can really help to build confidence as well as pupils’ reasoning skills in maths.

If you want to talk to one of our schools team about how we can support pupils at your school book a demo here or call 0203 771 0095.

How can we support Pupil Premium pupils without spending money?

  • Develop their self-belief through growth mindset based praise and by developing personal, individual relationships with them.

  • Use competition to stimulate their interest in your subject. Try inter-class competitions once per week and keep track of the class scores over a period of time; this particularly helps to encourage disruptive and distracted boys.

  • Use registration/tutor time more effectively. What particularly worked well in my school was taking FSM boys out of tutor time once per week to complete targeted Maths practice with a Maths teacher.

If you’re interested in the funding aspect of Pupil Premium, read our other blog, packed with 35 ways to make the best use of your Pupil Premium funding.

For more strategies to support KS2 Pupil Premium kids, as well as a FREE Ofsted Checklist and 15-point success plan, download our Pupil Premium Guide

CPD and school strategy free

Primary School Guide to the Pupil Premium

Includes robust research on interventions, effective strategies, and 15-point success plan based on experiences from Pupil Premium award winning school, Pakeman Primary

How can schools spend Pupil Premium funding effectively?

Some top tips from Pakeman Primary, a winner at the Pupil Premium Awards, are to:

  • Follow up any implemented intervention programmes/changes with observations and check-ups.

  • Employ staff members to be Team Leads – they ensure there is consistent and high-quality teaching being delivered across the school.

  • Ringfence funding for Pupil Premium pupils.

  • Start a Saturday school to support PP pupils through either extra curricular activities or additional support in key subjects.

Free primary school guide to the Pupil Premium

If you’re interested in more indepth guidance, at Third Space Learning, we have also created, with Lynne Gavin’s contribution, a guide to what strategies work, how to focus on success, and what action you can take today.

Free resource: Download Primary School Guide to Pupil Premium.

Hopefully this blog post encourages other educators to think about and discuss how they can best support their Pupil Premium pupils in KS2 and secondary school.  Let’s keep sharing best practice and knowledge we’ve gained as teaching professionals to continue to support all pupils, no matter what their social background is.

Sophie Waterman-Smith , Teacher , Third Space Learning

Sophie grew up in Brighton and taught Maths in a secondary school. In between working with our schools, she writes about the teachmeets she attends on our blog.