Benton Dene Schools

Benton Dene Schools

Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium is funding provided by the Government that is additional to main school funding.

The Government believe that it is:

‘The best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantaged reaches the pupils who need it most.’    DfE.

In common with all schools, Benton Dene School receives a Pupil Premium Grant for each child who is entitled to receive Free School Meals or who has been entitled to over the last six years, and for any ‘Looked After Children’. We publish online information about how we have used the premium.

More than half of pupils attending Benton Dene School attract Pupil Premium funding.  We aim for every single one of our pupil premium funded children to make at least expected progress in all areas, and for there to be no gap between them and their non-disadvantaged peers; we achieve this consistently, identifying and intervening swiftly whenever any gaps begin to emerge.  A key factor to support pupils’ progress is effective teaching, thus investing in the development of high-quality teaching and support through continuing professional development has been a whole school priority over the last few years:  for example, focusing on high quality feedback and marking, as well as encouraging independent learning.  The impact of this is evident in the increased levels of pupil engagement and resilience in their learning, as well as in their progress.

As a specialist provision for pupils with cognition and learning difficulties and/or autism, we recognise that those pupils who attract Pupil Premium funding face a number of barriers, including a greater level of multi-agency involvement and a greater level of complex social and emotional needs than is typical for our cohort.  Additionally, accessing socially enriching opportunities and engaging with families to ensure that we collaborate to support themselves and their children is fundamental in order to ensure that  each eligible pupil maximises their potential.

Following whole school training around Poverty Proofing in November 2018, staff have engaged in identifying and overcoming any barriers faced by individual children within their class groups, as well as leaders implementing measures to overcome any wider barriers.  For example, all children eligible for Pupil Premium funding are automatically provided with resources to support home school learning, and during Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, this meant that staff were swiftly able to provide the relevant materials and technologies to support children in remote learning if they were not in school.  

At a whole school level, breakfast provision has been introduced as part of the morning curriculum; our Challenge and Development curriculum offers children access to a wide range of cultural and physical activities beyond school; after-school transport has been organised to ensure that eligible children can access extra-curricular activities outside of school hours as well as at lunchtimes; our home school liaison team have extensive contact with identified families, organising parental workshops and family activities, such as first aid training, family film events, or weekend trips to places like Diggerland. The impact of this can be measured in ongoing high levels of parental engagement, as well as the confidence displayed by parents in asking school for help whenever required, and their trust that school will respond appropriately to overcome the challenges they may be facing: this has included requests to access additional funding to support their children or family home via local or national initiatives, including charity funding. 

Another measure of impact is that we have been successful in achieving our ambition that the attendance of our pupil premium funded children is at least in-line with or exceeds the attendance of all non-disadvantaged pupils nationally. 

We have largely targeted our additional pupil premium funding on:

  • Ensuring we provide Quality First Teaching
  • Targeted intervention where necessary, including speech and language and occupational therapy
  • Whole family pastoral care
  • Enriching experiences

Please click the links below to see how we used the Pupil Premium at Benton Dene School.