Tracking progress of pupil premium children, how is it done?

(15 Posts)
wheresmyfairygodmother Thu 20-Oct-16 18:44:29

My DD qualifies for pupil premium. At the end of reception she was 'exceeding expectation' in maths. Through yr1 & yr 2 she was 'working at expected level' in maths. Now in yr3 first parents evening revealed (after some probing) she is in the lower ability maths group

I feel somewhat shocked & letdown by the lack of communication from the school. To me it appears she is not following her expected trajectory. Some time ago the Head mentioned PP children have progress tracked and they only intervene using the PP funds if a child doesn't follow their trajectory.

Does anyone know how PP childrens progress is tracked? Is it a standardised tracking method? I couldn't speak to the maths teacher as it's not my DD form teacher. I asked for a follow up meeting with the maths teacher detailing my concerns for discussion. Instead I got a scribbled note from the maths teacher noting some things DD should know but struggles with, a suggestion I discuss these areas with my DD & a suggestion I arrange a meeting if I still feel the need angry

I will obvs sort a meeting but I could do with being informed about how PP students progress is tracked. I feel I've not been fully informed of DD deterioration in this area & actually feel quite sick thinking of where she was & where she is.

The school uses PP funding to fund extra staff to lower the staff / pupil ratio so in theory all children benefit from the money. I have mixed feelings about this and worry the money is tied up in staff wages so school will resist putting my DD money to use on her specifically.

Any help or advice appreciated on how PP should work for the benefit of a child in this situation, I want to make sure my daughter gets what she's entitled to & not be fobbed off as I feel I have been the last yr or so. Thank you!

TeenAndTween Thu 20-Oct-16 18:54:44

I can only answer generally (my children get PPP for which rules are slightly different I think)

PP kids progress will be tracked the same way as all the other pupils.
They have some method of assessment, and will know where they 'should' be at the end of each year to have made 'expected progress'.

By using a spreadsheet or bespoke software they should be able to say things like x% all children made expected progress, y% of PP pupils made expected progress. Or a% pupils reached expected standard end y6, but only b% of PP children.

PP money should be spent generically on PP kids to 'close the gap'. It shouldn't be going on all pupils. So funding a TA to do interventions primarily for PP kids (that other can piggyback on) is OK. Funding a TA to generically lower ratios I think would not be OK.

In your case I would ask to speak to <staff member in charge of PP money?> and say
1) concerned DD is dropping behind in maths - am I right?
2) are you doing maths interventions with PP money, would it be appropriate for DD to be included?

wheresmyfairygodmother Thu 20-Oct-16 22:12:41

Sorry if this is a silly question Teen... but what is PPP?

JoJoSM2 Fri 21-Oct-16 08:28:00

I think you're missing the point a bit - the teacher told you very clearly what your DD needs to work on so why don't you just help her?? (One of the reasons why PP children fall behind is lack of support at home). I think that if you choose to challenge how their allocate their budgets, you'll just be difficult... And just to give you an example- I worked it a school which decided to allocate all PP money to 1:1 sessions. It was enough money for each PP child to get 8h/year. I doubt that amount of input would help your daughter make significant progress... You could speak to the teacher to see what interventions she's getting and some feedback from them. Otherwise, just be a responsible parent and help her at home. If you're unsure what resources to use or how to do it, then meet up with the teacher for a bit of support.

Rumtopf Fri 21-Oct-16 08:38:19

In the school I used to be a governor at, Pupil Premium money was spent on providing an extra TA for so many hours a week. This Higher Level TA would take out the group of children who were struggling and do activities with them to help close the learning gap and bring them up to speed. So not 1:1 but a focused activity with around 1:6.
Progress was tracked using Sims which had a parent facing website allowing parents to log in and check on their child's progress in different learning areas.
I would be asking for a meeting with your child's form teacher and their maths teacher to discuss why your child hasn't progressed in the last 2 years and why this is only be communicated in a negative way now. They need to have preventative measures in place to stop this slippage from occurring.
Take on board what they have asked you to review with your child at home, give more support where possible. Is there a parents course run at school on current teaching practises? Teaching methods such as Numicon are better enabled when the parents are aware how to support it properly. Does the school also subscribe to online maths support programmes such as Mathletics?

As an aside, try getting some maths books at home to work through with rewards for your child for the effort they put in regardless if they get the answers correct or not. Bolster their desire for learning. The books don't have to be expensive, I used to pick up age and level appropriate books in Poundland.

GrinchyMcGrincherson Fri 21-Oct-16 08:47:35

Our school has focused sessions for those who fall behind. They go out of lessons (diff ones each week) to focus on the specific things they are falling behind on. The group is about 4-6 kids per class. Can you meet the teacher and ask what they have in place at school?

I'm unsure as to if this help is PP specific as mine get it but are still PP kids. The youngest has help with phonics and the oldest with maths. The help has made a huge difference to mine.

GrinchyMcGrincherson Fri 21-Oct-16 08:50:14

Also check the maths system they use. Our school swapped to Singapore maths a couple of years ago. It confused DD at first but she gets on better with it now. Her grades did take a short term hit though as she adjusted. DS has always used it and really took to it.

TeenAndTween Fri 21-Oct-16 09:20:56

PPP is/was (think it may have been renamed) Pupil Premium Plus and goes to Looked After & ex Looked After / Adopted children. It is a higher rate than standard PP.

PoppyStellar Fri 21-Oct-16 09:59:14

Lots of good advice from others but I do take exception with this comment....
(One of the reasons why PP children fall behind is lack of support at home)
... and the implied criticism that children receiving PP are somehow being failed by their parents through a lack of support.

PP is for socially and economically disadvantaged children (either through FSM eligibility or because of LAC or post LAC status) and is provided to narrow the gap in attainment that historically exists between these pupils and their peers. Being 'disadvantaged' does not automatically mean these children have no support at home.

I think the OP comes across as someone who is very much supportive of her DD and wants her to do well.

As the parent of a PP child myself I have been in to school to meet with staff (class teacher, Head and SENCO at various different times) to discuss what support school can provide to help DD achieve her potential. I would recommend this as a good way to open a dialogue with the school. If you feel the class teacher is fobbing you off don't be afraid to ask to speak to the Head. As long as you are polite and respectful in communications with school (which is just basic good manners!) then they should have no problem with you asking how they are using PP to support your daughter who is currently struggling with Maths.

To answer your question about tracking. There is no standardised system of tracking PP used by all schools. Schools monitor their use and the effectiveness of the spending of PP in individual ways, however, all schools have to publish on their school website details of how they spent last year's money and what impact it had.

This year, the government has asked for more detailed reporting of the impact of PP, so this would be a good time, I think, to go in to school and ask how they are supporting your daughter to narrow the gap in her Maths attainment.

Some schools are better than others at allocating PP money effectively. The Sutton Trust published a report into effective use of PP. Schools should not be just subsuming PP funds into their general budget, and the new reporting guidelines are designed to encourage schools to identify exactly what specific interventions and strategies they are using to support PP children. If your school have historically just used the money to lower staff pupil ratios then I would say this hasn't been a good use of funds, and you would be doing both your daughter and the school a favour by challenging them to use the money more effectively and in a more targeted way.

Best of luck with it all.

ReallyTired Fri 21-Oct-16 11:03:04

Schools have choice of how they choose to track progress. A child who finishes reception exceeding in all areas should achieve mastery standard by the end of year 2. My daughter's school tracks children's progress on a terms you basis and would intervene if any child fails to make progress regardless of the background of the child.

There is lots of excellent advice here.

rollonthesummer Fri 21-Oct-16 11:09:50

I'd go and have a chat with the PP lead (often a member of the SMT, often not the SENCo) and have a chat.

I'd also do plenty of things at home with her-what was on the list the teacher recommended?

Feenie Fri 21-Oct-16 11:17:47

.*A child who finishes reception exceeding in all areas should achieve mastery standard by the end of year 2*

It's called Working in Greater Depth - but everything else Really Tired said is 100% accurate.

Sorry, not trying to nitpick, Really Tired - it's just that mastery has different connotations depending on what you read. The dfe mooted the mastery term for the purpose you mention but got rid of it because of it's many and confusing associations.

Feenie Fri 21-Oct-16 11:18:46

Its, dammiit. Autocorrect needs a grammar lesson.

wheresmyfairygodmother Fri 21-Oct-16 14:32:04

Got to type & run for now but just wanted to say thank you for all the helpful advice so far. I'll study replies properly at the wknd as we're on half term nxt wk so I have some breathing space to mull the situation over. I have a meeting with the maths teacher booked when school resumes but had a v brief chat with her maths teacher when arranging & highlighted my concerns so she can come to the meeting prepared knowing where I'm coming from & things move hopefully in the right direction asap.

And for the record my children are my reason d'etre (I hope that's spelt right!) I do loads at home in the way of additional support both formally (mathletics, workbooks, stretch the h/w if the topic allows etc) & informally (museums, library, getting DD to tell me the time etc). In the yrs she's been at school no one has mentioned her struggling in maths. I am at school at least once a day & volunteer to help with other kids reading etc. There is no excuse for her being allowed to slip back or for school to not flag it up. I'll certainly be reconsidering the support I give the school on the basis of the support they give my child. If there's no communication to tell a parent there is an issue & the children were not setted for maths before juniors, plus your child doesn't talk about it, you're snookered. No way of knowing what is going on in class or how to help or that help beyond the norm is needed.

JoJoSM2 Fri 21-Oct-16 15:58:41

Fair enough. You're doing loads with her. Good luck when you see the teacher.

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