Agenda and minutes

Select Committee - Pupil Premium - Monday, 20th November, 2017 2.00 pm

Venue: Swale 1, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Gaetano Romagnuolo  03000 416624

No. Item


Stephen Mellors (School Effectiveness Partner) and Carole Farrer (School Effectiveness Partner) - Essex County Council pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:


1.            The Chairman welcomed the Select Committee members and two guest speakers and invited all those present to introduce themselves.


2.            Mr Mellors spoke to a two page handout entitled-The Essex Toolkit, an approach to maximising the use of the pupil premium funding, which is appended to these minutes.


3.            He also referred to a glossy pamphlet entitled Tackling Educational disadvantage: A Toolkit for Essex Schools.


4.            Mr Mellors was invited to expand on his personal biography and informed members that he would be leaving the Local Authority to work for HMI at the end of term.  In his current role he has responsibility for disadvantaged pupils.


5.            After consultation with Head Teachers it became clear a Toolkit to aid maximisation of pupil premium was required. The Tender process resulted in the National Education Trust being commissioned to develop the Toolkit in consultation with Essex County Council. Authors: Marc Rowland, Jo Moore and Dr Tony Ashmore.


6.            How Head Teacher’s used the Toolkit was not prescriptive, it was intended to promote challenge and enhance good practice. No one strategy worked for all children, each school needed to take account of its own culture, leadership maximise intervention.


7.            Mr Mellors emphasised leadership was key. Pressure on budgets meant spending to achieve excellent practitioners was essential and children on pupil premium benefitted most from being taught by highest quality teaching.


8.            Leadership was key! Often disadvantaged do not have a backup plan and Leaders needed to be relentless in pursuit of ambition and highest outcomes for those in most need-Establishing a culture of possibilities, not barriers with a collective sense of mission, pervading through the whole school and reflected in all staff.


9.            An example of best practice could be seen in a Clacton school, situated in a very deprived area where the Headteacher had recognised the best advocates were carers/parents and had engaged them in improving better outcomes and higher self-esteem.


10.         Understanding barriers and targeting activities  included recognising the importance of early language acquisition; being accessible to all parents; any interventions being blended with highest quality teaching; recognition of characteristics of learners who underachieve and target activities through a well thought out curriculum; engaging the voice of pupils and others.


11.         Monitoring, evaluation and accountability needed to be long term and sustainable with acceptance that important lessons can be learnt when things don’t work. Effective monitoring should be used to find out what worked and what didn’t work, then changes made in practice.  This helps to focus the responsibility for pupil premium is everybody’s.

12.         Essex Toolkit was rolled out to schools, initially with two free conferences, for Head Teachers and Governors. The first invited speakers from the Educational Endowment Fund and included group seminars provided by Teaching School Alliances who were commissioned to investigate effective engagement with careers and parents.


13.         The second focused on developing metacognitive approaches to learning, which resulted in a number of schools signing up for the action research Project - ReflectED.


14.         Mr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Carl Roberts (Headmaster) - The Malling School) pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:



1)            Mr Roberts introduced himself and advised that The Malling School was situated in an area of high social deprivation; currently the PP was above the national average, sitting around 30%.  He explained that The Malling School was a non-selective mainstream school and that often disadvantaged pupils in such schools do not match the attainment of their non PP mainstream peers nationally but do make significant progress from their starting points.  He advised that the attainment gap may not have closed, so the performance of the school may not be considered effective if not for consideration of the progress made and the wider impact of the intervention provided.  This would be evidenced through pupil level PP tracking, Progress 8 performance and case studies rather than just attainment measures.


2)            QUESTION

Where is the school situated?



East Malling – 9 miles from Maidstone in a small rural community.


3)            QUESTION

30% PP ?



Yes and many more pupils are technically eligible but do not take it up – it could be as high as 40/50%


4)            QUESTION

Are these families chased?



There is a stigma attached – it is harder in secondary school to convince parents than in primary schools.  If you look at data (EVER 6)– around 50% PP are ever 6 children  - it is necessary to reclaim when moving from primary to secondary school.


5)            QUESTION

Do you think free school meals is the right criteria?



I know there are many that do not claim – children are missing out.


6)            QUESTION

Do you take all the PP funding as a pool or allocate it to individual children?



As a pool - a budget is written which states how the money is to be spent.  A PP review takes place at the end of each academic year.  The data is then analysed and then the most effective strategies are worked out– how these children make this progress with these particular interventions.  We look at individual students and shape interventions around the cohort.

7)            QUESTION

How do you consider progress is measured against academic attainment?



You can’t just use academic attainment, year 11 academic attainment is better for non PP pupils than PP pupils but PP pupils did better on progress from KS2.   Unfortunately, DFE view is that you don’t get a job based purely on progress and therefore the gap needs to narrow. PP Pupils enter secondary school behind those non PP, so incredibly frustrating being judged on attainment levels only.


8)            QUESTION

In your view /experience what are the most effective headings?



Firstly, high quality teaching and small class sizes, some PP funding goes towards reducing class sizes particularly in English and Maths.


Secondly, pastoral care, it is necessary to somehow influence what goes on outside school too, attendance etc./wraparound care, homework clubs etc.  It has to work for every child not just PP pupils; the funding has to be used efficiently.


9)            QUESTION

Is the funding enough?



Never!  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Rosemary Hafeez (Associate Director for School Standards and Performance - Achieving for Children) - Richmond Upon Thames Borough Council pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:


(1)       The Chairman welcomed Rosemary Hafeez to the meeting and invited her to introduce herself.


(2)       Rosemary Hafeez said that she was the Associate Director for School Standards and Performance, Achieving for Children (AfC), which was a Community Interest Company owned by the London Boroughs of Kingston and Richmond since 2014.   This Company had been expanded during the summer of 2017 by the inclusion of Windsor and Maidenhead Council.


 (3)      The Company had been set up after Kingston had failed its Safeguarding Inspection. The two Boroughs’ combined budget was approximately £100m with some 1,000 members of staff.   School Improvement was in the region of 1% of these figures.  


(4)       Rosemary Hafeez said that most of AfC’s work took place in the Children’s Social Care field.  It also provided Education Services such as Early Years, Admissions and Commissioning as well as the “School Performance Alliance for Richmond and Kingston”, usually known as “SPA(RK).” 


(5)       Rosemary Hafeez that SPA(RK) provided Governor Services,  an assigned School Improvement Partner (SIP)  (which included support for the Pupil Premium) a wide range of networks and in-school bespoke support. 


(6)       Rosemary Hafeez then turned to the work undertaken on the Pupil Premium.  The strategy took the form of half-termly sessions with Head Teachers, focussing on school improvement rather than on budgets, buildings and safeguarding. She led the sessions on the School Improvement Forum which usually ran between 0830 and 1200 and usually included some schools presenting to the others. 


(7)       SPA(RK) aimed to support schools to improve provision, raise standards and narrow the attainment gap.  It offered premium membership, which was taken up by 85% of the schools.  This entitled them to receive four strands of support:  an assigned school improvement partner (SIP);  governor support; a wide range of Best Practice networks; and in-school bespoke support.   At least 90% of the schools bought onto at least one of these strands. 


(8)       Rosemary Hafeez provided graphs which set out SP{ARK)’s impact in both Kingston and Richmond Boroughs between 2014 and 2017.   These graphs tracked progress in a number of areas since the AfC’s creation, and demonstrated the gap in attainment between PPG and non-PPG pupils. Her analysis is set out below:


(a)       “Good level of development”:  In Kingston there was all round improvement, with the gap in attainment narrowing each year much smaller than the national average.  In Richmond the gap had narrowed significantly in 2016 and had remained constant in 2017.


(b)       “Phonics (Year 1)”:  The gap in attainment had narrowed in 2016 when there had been a strong focus in this area, but had widened again in 2017.   In consequence, there would be an increased focus in 2018.


(c)        “Expected Standard in Reading, Writing and Mathematics (RWM)”:  The attainment gap had narrowed in Kingston at KS1 and in Richmond at KS2.  


(d)       “English Baccalaureate”:  there was a small gap in both Kingston and Richmond which had grown slightly in the former in 2017.   The attainment gap in both areas was smaller than the national gap.


(9)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.