Pupil Equity Fund: Parent Update Feb 2018 How Bathgate Academy is spending Pupil Equity Funding during session 2017-2018

Pupil Equity Funding

Bathgate Academy received £97,800 for session 2017-2018 to finance additional interventions to help reduce the poverty related attainment gap within our school.

Please click here for our first update publication from March 2017.

Before allocating PEF resources we needed to identify and understand our gaps. This was achieved through the completion of our Attainment Gap Narrative.

Our Attainment Gap Narrative

2016-2017 data

Our 'Attainment Gap' Narrative investigated aspects of our school that we consider unique to our setting. This included analysing:

  1. our school population and demographics, including free meal entitlement (currently 15.5%)and SIMD data
  2. patterns of attendance, absence and exclusions
  3. positive destination data indicating what our pupils do when they leave school
  4. our curriculum rationale and design
  5. our pupils attainment levels and any patterns associated with this
  6. the health and well-being of our pupils including both physical and mental health
  7. pupil participation in extra curricular activities and school trips
  8. the success or otherwise of parental engagement opportunities offered by the school

Data analysed indicated the existence of a variety of attainment and participation gaps and, as such, following further consultation with staff, pupils and parents in June 2017 we were able to agree and set out our PEF Rationale and priorities for session 2017-2108.

Our PEF Rationale

Our Rationale is to work collaboratively and collectively to interrupt the cycle of intergenerational poverty in order to improve the life chances of children and young people at Bathgate Academy.

Our school attainment gap narrative, improvement plan priorities and our PEF rationale allowed us to determine our PEF priorities for session 2017-2018:

The priorities above came from our School Attainment Gap Narrative and an in-depth analysis of our S1 -S3 pupil cohorts. This data was collated and illustrated via the infographics below.

(This image does not allow data to be read)

As a school we have made a determined effort to put in place strategies and interventions that will begin to focus our work on closing our poverty related attainment gap. We still consider this work to be in the early stages but are already considering our improvements for next session. Initial data returns indicates we are making some improvements across some of the areas outlined above in our 'Attainment Gap Narrative'.

Interventions and Funding priorities

Funding has allowed us to introduce/ develop and in some cases enhance specific work within our identified intervention areas.

Attendance and Latecoming

  1. Introduction of Attendance Mentors tasked to increase and sustain the attendance of a targeted group of S1-S3 pupils who currently have an attendance of 69% - 89%, by 5% by May 2018.
  2. Sleep Mentors training for 16 senior pupils to take on mentoring roles next session for identified pupils
  3. Introduction of a Family/ Learner Mentor to work closely with our families and parents

Literacy and Numeracy

  • Introduction of specific Literacy interventions for identified pupils with reading ages not allowing them to access the full curriculum. These include TRT, Fresh Start And Accelerated Reader
  • Introduction of Numeracy interventions for identified pupils with numeracy skills that are requiring additional support and assistance. These include Maths Recovery And Mathletics
  • Additional Literacy/Numeracy Training for Classroom Assistants

Engagement and Resilience (H&W Focus)

  1. Introduction of Learning Mentors tasked to work with groups of identified pupils and families to encourage them to reflect and remove barriers that impacts on their engagement and involvement in school life
  2. Introduction of School Of Sport focused on inclusion and participation to increase resilience and raise self esteem within a targeted group of pupils in S2/S3
  3. Expanded role of Positive Destinations Coordinator allowing more pupils more access to high quality industry based work experience opportunities.
  4. Introduction of a staff leadership academy and more focused inset training on learning and teaching (specifically the role of feedback) and raised awareness about the negative impact of adverse childhood experiences on school attainment
  5. Mental health training for selected staff with whole staff training planned
  6. Mental Health screening for pupils, resulting in the planned introduction of a Counsellor for session 2018-2019
  7. Introduction of a Support Assistant for our Inclusion base and additional resourcing for pupils requiring more specialised support to access the curriculum. Involvement of a partner agency to support this
  8. Involvement in Polar Academy for 20 identified pupils
  9. Removal of financial cost barriers for Home Economics and CDT courses for identified families
  10. Re-design of Pupil Voice structure to involve more pupils in life of school including an upcoming 'Pupils as Partners' Event to strategically involve pupils in setting targets and PEF interventions for next session
  11. Imminent introduction of 'Creche/play area' for parents evenings and on-going analysis of how we can better engage parents in life of school

Impact of our Interventions

All our interventions have been grounded in evidence of what is known to be effective at raising attainment. However, what we know is that for every complex problem there is a solution that is neat, simple and wrong! As such, our school context, our narrative and what is proven to work for us is key in ensuring we continue to target

  1. identified cohorts of pupils
  2. have high expectations and aspirations for all our learners
  3. build capacity and collaborate with colleagues and partners to make a positive difference
  4. analyse and interpret available data for this current session to make informed decisions

What happens next?

As a school we are evaluating the impact of our interventions this session and using available research and data to determine how we best build capacity to intervene and support our most vulnerable pupils going forward.

In particular,

  • We need to ensure the funding for next session continues to be targeted appropriately and based on informed and strong decision making that will allow focused and creative interventions.
  • We need to continue our focus on the ‘Bathgate Academy lesson’ to ensure all learners experience ‘inclusive, engaging and challenging’ learning activities.
  • We need to accelerate the progress of our learners by ensuring we measure against clearly defined outcomes based on short, medium and long term goals.
  • We need to streamline initiatives to ensure greatest impact.
  • We need to continue to evaluate our progress against the five key areas that we know will impact most positively on closing the poverty related attainment gap (attendance, engagement, attainment, participation and inclusion).
  • We need to work closely and understand the interconnectiveness of our interventions.
  • We need to get better at using evidence based research and importantly measuring the impact of our interventions more regularly and robustly.

Looking forward

The second round of funding for session 2018-2019 has recently been announced. Bathgate Academy will receive £97,200.

We will build on the work of this session, re-examine our school data, look to scale up interventions that are showing promise, stop interventions that are not making progress and begin interventions based on our experiences this session and on the evidence and research that we believe will make a difference to the lives of young people at Bathgate Academy.

A further school publication will be published in September setting out our PEF interventions and priorities for session 2018-2019.

If you have any questions/suggestions or would like to comment on anything raised in this PEF update please do not hesitate to contact Grant Abbot (HT) or Derek Cornwall (Chair of the Parent Council) via the contact details found on the links below:

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