Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to support disadvantaged pupils and to help close the gap in attainment between them and their peers. The school receives a set amount per eligible child each academic year.

Schools decide how to spend the money as they are best placed to assess what additional provision is needed for each child.

Context

Prior’s Court School is an independent special school for children and young people with autism, moderate to severe learning difficulties and complex needs. All of the students experience significant difficulties in communication and social interaction. Rigid, inflexible thought processes can create anxieties about the world around them. They require a high level of specialist educational and therapeutic support to achieve as independent a life as possible.

Pupils eligible for Pupil Premium may also have additional needs or require more support than others to improve their life chances.

Documents
Pupil Premium policy

Spend

Prior’s Court School is committed to supporting students who are eligible for Pupil Premium by identifying each of the student’s individual need and using the pupil premium to fund items and activities to meet these needs.

  • In the academic year 2014-15 we received £14,101 in funding
  • In the academic year 2015-16, we received £17,688

Impact

In previous years, students eligible for Pupil Premium funding have been able to benefit from a range of different IT opportunities, which were not available to them previously. For example, the introduction of iPads and new communication technology offers support to those experiencing significant difficulties with communication and find the challenge of accessing work in the classroom difficult.

The Pupil Premium for the current academic year has enabled us to identify ‘focus packages’ that are able to be over and above the students’ statement of needs to enhance their learning and narrow the gap. Through our education and therapy services we are able to provide additional therapy sessions such as those listed below:

Pupil Premium impact pie chart

  • Trampolining - of enormous benefit for young people with autism as it helps to develop a range of different physical skills including core strength, coordination and different gross motor skills.
  • Music and movement - improves social skills and communication, increases body awareness, encourages eye contact, enhances self-awareness and improves motor deficits.
  • Deep pressure therapy - has been shown to help people with sensory processing disorders to assist with their emotional and sensory regulation, resulting in improved attention and concentration.
  • Horseriding – strengthens core muscles, improves posture, develops motor skills and provides sensory experiences.
  • Yoga - teaches relaxation techniques and improves core development.
  • Talking mats - an interactive resource that uses picture communication symbols and a physical space, textured mat or digital display on which to display them. This will assist students in expressing opinions which they may otherwise find very difficult.
  • LEGO therapy - takes advantage of the inherently rewarding nature of LEGO activities and promotes collaborative building, fine motor skills, social skills.
  • Sensory fine motor programme – developed by our Occupational Therapy team, this programme improves fine motor skills, encourages independence through developing self-care skills such as dressing (fastening buttons), enhances handwriting skills and the enjoyment of daily learning activities such as art.

Next steps

Our aim is to continue to identify the individual needs of the students who qualify for Pupil Premium and to support their development through IT, accessing the community and therapeutic programmes.

For more information on the Pupil Premium, please visit the Department of Education website.