We Use Pupil Premium Funding at Melrose School and its Impact
Melrose is a special school for children aged 11-16 with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
All onsite students represent an attendance average of 77.24%, which is impacted on by a group of students with a history of poor attendance. These students will be monitored, and the necessary intervention put in place to address this. 79% of pupils on the school role receive Pupil Premium (PP). 55.6% of these students are making the expected level of progress in English, Maths and Science, compared with 50% of non-PP students.
The funding the school receives for PP students is used towards supporting the students through their education, ensuring engagement with education, increasing attendance rates and improved progress and outcomes across the curriculum.
The overall gap within the whole school cohort between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged is statistically insignificant, highlighting the success of the structures and systems used to support our students in their education. Pupil Premium allows us to create bespoke learning and support, in many forms leading to higher levels of achievement and attendance with our students. Many students have been identified previously as being persistent non-attenders, having fallen out of the mainstream system. A third of the timetabled curriculum at Melrose is made up of specific Social Development Opportunities (SDO’S), a mix of skills-based activities selected by the students, which serves to break down barriers to our students learning, in turn having a positive impact on both their engagement and attendance. The activities are always skill based, generated through pupil voice, and providing students with opportunities to mix in different social groups (outside of their usual class). Offsite activities also encourage students to operate with appropriate behaviour in a public setting. SDO’s also provide a link to achieving a qualification in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. We use PP funding to enhance our music curriculum by employing a music therapist. We have provided mentoring for our students during difficult times, and provided extra tuition for intervention purposes. Pupil Premium funding is essential in helping us fund many of our SDO activities, which in turn incentivize our students at all levels, and ultimately improve their life chances.
An example of which is MF-
MF is a year 11 student who has to date achieved 9 qualifications, 4 at GCSE, including a Bronze Level Duke of Edinburgh Award. PP funding paid for his enrolment, and helped provide him with the necessary equipment to succeed. MF gained so much from this experience he has requested to the Silver Level Award.
MF had poor attendance throughout Year 9, which was quickly identified and intervention and a support programme was put in place. MF was also subject to a Child Protection order. Through working closely with an assigned mentor and with staff Intervention, he gradually improved engagement, and attendance steadily increased (89%). This was made possible by tailoring some lessons and SDO’s to meet the student’s needs.
E.g. Design and Technology where the student had expressed real interest, we funded more expensive material to enthuse him and ensure a successful outcome.