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Main Barriers to Achievement

Children entitled to free school meals (FSM) encompass the full spectrum of needs and backgrounds in the school community, including white and minority ethnic pupils, looked after children, most able pupils and those with special educational needs (SEN).

Consequently, the barriers and challenges that disadvantaged pupils face can be complex and varied- there is no single difficulty faced by all. Barriers can lie within schools, with learners and their families. It is, therefore, important to analyse where pupils have multiple barriers to learning to ensure a good, deep understanding of children and their families.

How Successful Schools Raise the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils

  1. Promote an ethos of attainment for all pupils, rather than stereotyping disadvantaged pupils as a group with less potential to succeed.
  2. Have an individualised approach to addressing barriers to learning and emotional support, at an early stage, rather than providing access to generic support and focusing on pupils nearing their end-of-key-stage assessments
  3. Focus on high quality teaching first rather than on bolt-on strategies and activities outside school hours.
  4. Focus on outcomes for individual pupils rather than on providing strategies.
  5. Deploy the best staff to support disadvantaged pupils; develop skills and roles of teachers and Teaching Assistants, rather than using additional staff who do not know the pupils well.
  6. Make decisions based on data and respond to evidence, using frequent, rather than one-off assessment and decision points.
  7. Have clear, responsive leadership: setting ever higher aspirations and devolving responsibility for raising attainment to all staff, rather than accepting low aspirations and variable performance
  8. Address behaviour and attendance and invest in individualised problem-solving and emotional support.

(From DfE publication: Supporting the attainment of disadvantaged pupils: articulating success and good practice Research report November 2015) 

Our school strives to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils as part or our commitment to raise academic standards of all our pupils.

We ensure high quality teaching for all.  We ensure that pupils' attendance is good and provide behaviour and emotional support to pupils - as necessary. We make every effort to understand every pupil as an individual and tailor intervention programmes accordingly. Additionally, we monitor attainment regularly and intervene to address individual learning needs.