MAKING EFFECTIVE USE OF THE PUPIL DEPRIVATION GRANT A RESOURCE FOR EDUCATION LEADERS AND PRACTITIONERS

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1 MAKING EFFECTIVE USE OF THE PUPIL DEPRIVATION GRANT A RESOURCE FOR EDUCATION LEADERS AND PRACTITIONERS

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3 March 2014 Report authors: Professor David Egan Professor Danny Saunders Lizzie Swaffield The Wales Centre for Equity in Education is a national policy and applied research centre dedicated to improving educational equity in Wales. It is a joint initiative between the University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. The Centre s purpose is to make a significant impact on reducing educational inequities in Wales by working at national, regional and local levels to bring about change through evidence based improvements to policy and practice. It has been established to focus on all forms of disadvantage associated with low educational achievement in Wales, underpinned by a commitment to promote social justice and inclusion.

4 SECTION A: Setting the Scene 1 Its Aim Its Aim The Background The Background What the Funding is for What the Funding Conditions Conditions Looked After Children Looked After Child Explaining the PDG to Stakeholders Explaining the PDG Overall Success Characteristics for the Use of Deprivation Funding Overall Success Ch Deprivation Fundin SECTION B: Identifying the Target Group 9 Starting Points Starting Points Baselines and Learner Profiles Baselines and Learn CONTENTS Learner Voice SECTION C: Planning Interventions Overall Strategy Whole School Approaches High Potential Impact Approaches Moderate Potential Impact Approaches Low, Very Low and Negative Potential Impact Approaches Engaging Parents and Families Strengthening Community Links 15 Learner Voice Overall Strategy Whole School App High Potential Imp Moderate Potentia Low, Very Low and Approaches Engaging Parents an Strengthening Com Evaluation Model Effect Size

5 is for Section D: Monitoring and Evaluation Introduction A Three Step Evaluation Model Effect Size 25 APPENDIX 1: Information for use with Parents, ren Governors and Community Representatives to StakeholdersThe Context aracteristics for the Statistics Use of g Evidence on the Effects of Disadvantage Effective Practice in Explaining the Use of the PDG The Use of Funding for LAC Support er Profiles APPENDIX 2: Frequencies of Types of Support Offered for Disadvantaged Learners 29 1: Information for use with Pa Governors and Community Repr The Context Statistics Evidence on the Effects of Disadva Effective Practice in Explaining the The Use of Funding for LAC Suppo 33APPENDIX 2: Frequencies of Offered for Disadvantaged Learn APPENDIX 3: Examples of Effective Interventions roaches act Approaches Whole School Interventions: Leadership l Impact Approaches Whole School Interventions: Learning and Teaching Negative Potential Whole Impact School Interventions: Wellbeing Family and Community Interventions d Families munity LinksA Three Step APPENDIX 4: Further Reading and Resources 35 : Examples of Effective Interv Whole School Interventions: Leade Whole School Interventions: Learn Whole School Interventions: Wellb Family and Community Interventio 53APPENDIX 4: Further Readin

6 SECTION A SETTING THE SCENE 1

7 This Resource is intended for use by: Senior Leadership Teams in Schools Classroom teachers and Heads of Department Teaching & Learning Support Assistants Learning coaches School Governors Local Authority and Consortia Officers Education Welfare Support Officers Other professionals Its Aim This is a resource for helping make effective use of the Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDG) as well as meeting the expectations of the Welsh Government and Regional Education Consortia for use of the funding. It will assist schools in deciding which interventions are best for their pupils based on available inspection, evaluation and research evidence. Drawing upon this evidence it suggests that schools need to take three crucial steps: identify the target group, its characteristics and needs plan interventions which make the most effective use of resources monitor and evaluate their impact 2

8 The Background One in two people and one third of children in Wales live in poverty. There is a strong association between living in poverty and low educational qualifications with this being both a cause and an effect of poverty in Wales. Through its Tackling Poverty Action Plan the Welsh Government has committed itself to mitigating the effect of poverty, assisting those in poverty to improve their chances of employment and preventing future poverty. Improving the educational qualifications of those in poverty - and in particular narrowing the gap in achievement between children who are eligible for free school meals (efsm) and those are not - is a key component of the plan. The Welsh Government Department for Education and Skills has made reducing the impact of poverty on achievement as one of its three main priorities and the Education Minister, Huw Lewis, announced in October 2013 that this is now to be his top priority. To this end Estyn have been asked to strengthen this aspect of their inspection of schools, and the Regional Education Consortia are required to make this a key feature of their work. The Education Minister has also commissioned a soon to be published Deprivation Programme and announced that it will have four components: The continuing development of Early Years education, so that interventions to counteract the influences of poverty can be taken as early as possible in a child s life. A Workforce Development Plan to develop the knowledge and skills of leaders, teachers and other professionals in working with disadvantaged young people. Improving family and community engagement in the education of their children. Supporting the aspirations of young people living in poverty so that they are able to realise their potential. This plan, therefore, recognises that whilst schools have a critically important part to play in overcoming the impact of poverty on educational achievement, they cannot do it alone. Parents, families and communities also have a crucial part to play. To provide additional support for schools to address the national priority the Pupil Deprivation Grant has been introduced. The Welsh Government is now strengthening the accountability of schools use of this funding and has asked the Regional Education Consortia to do the same. 3

9 What the Funding is for In the PDG is entering its third year and doubles to 918 per pupil. It should be used for supporting pupils who are eligible for free school meals - the key measure of pupil deprivation used by the Welsh Government - and Looked After Children (LAC). Whilst it is recognised that eligibility for free school meals is not a perfect measure of deprivation it is the most widely available and consistently used measure and is therefore arguably the best available indicator. It should not be used for supporting pupils who are outside of statutory school age (i.e. below the age of 5 or above the age of 15). Nor should it be used for helping other groups of pupils who can benefit from separate funding streams examples including ethnic minority learners, Gypsy and Traveller pupils, or learners with special educational needs, who are not e-fsm. Some schools will have relatively small numbers of e-fsm and LAC pupils where this is the case there is encouragement for the pooling of PDG resources by clusters of schools. Where funding achieves critical mass, especially where schools have a larger proportion of e-fsm learners (over 15% of all pupils) there can be: Use of funding to appoint staff who can deliver interventions more out of hours activity (including summer schools) increased involvement with parents devising alternative learning pathways engaging more specialist support from outside organisations. Conditions Whilst the conditions of the PDG allocations to schools have not changed, the Welsh Government warns that some or all of the grant can be recovered at any time if it is being used in an ineligible way. This means that schools will be monitored for their use of the money. Local authority and consortia will be providing help to ensure that this valuable resource is not used in an inappropriate way. The Welsh Government expects open and transparent plans to be published online giving details of objectives and impact with monitoring and evaluation through: 4

10 the regular stock takes undertaken by the School Standards Unit with Regional Education Consortia. System Leaders/Challenge Advisers within each consortium, who have the role of monitoring progress in order to improve achievement and spread good practice Estyn s regular inspections of schools and their judgements about the use and impact of the PDG on standards The use of PDG funding is to be accounted for separately, but it is anticipated that it will be linked to the use of the School Effectiveness Grant (SEG) which will be used by schools to raise standards- particularly of those who are low achieving- more generally. The SEG is a universal grant and can be used to fund interventions for pupils who are not e-fsm. TARGETED STRATEGIES FOR PUPILS ELIGIBLE FOR FSM... which specifically benefit FSM pupils STRATEGIES FOR UNDER- PERFORMING PUPILS... which benefit FSM and other under-achieving pupils WHOLE SCHOOL STRATEGIES... which benefit all pupils Source: Rea et al,2011, National College 5

11 Looked After Children Many children who are looked after face repeated disruptions in their lives, and their education can be unsettled by changes in where and with whom they live, some of which may result in a change of school. In the year to 31 March 2011, nine per cent of looked after children experienced at least three such placement moves Wales Audit Office (2012) page 24 The Wales Audit Office highlights the seriousness of educational disadvantage for children who are in local authority care with key observations such as: Increased likelihood of NEET status on leaving school 29% leaving school with no qualifications and 10% achieving the Level2 inclusive standard at Key Stage 4 Lower attendance and higher fixed term exclusion rates in secondary schools Increased likelihood of movement between schools based on care arrangements At a UK level five key observations from the Social Exclusion Unit have helped to guide actions for support and intervention: Key observations Too many young people s lives are characterised by instability Young people in care spend too much time out of school or other place of learning Children do not have sufficient help with their education if they get behind Carers are not expected, or equipped, to provide sufficient support and encouragement at home for learning and development Children in care need more help with their emotional, mental or physical health and wellbeing Key Actions Provide a stable and consistent school experience, with continuity of support when LAC learners move between carers and schools Encourage attendance, including out of hours opportunities Provide catch-up teaching and learning support when LAC learners miss classes Involve carers in learning support programmes Develop programmes and activities that promote wellbeing Source: Social Exclusion Unit (2003) 6

12 Explaining the PDG to Stakeholders School leaders have the task of explaining the reasons for introducing and sustaining e-fsm and LAC support activities to key stakeholders within a school s community. Appendix 1 of this resource provides case study, policy and statistical information for use in discussions within governors, parent-teacher groups, school councils, and community organisations. This information includes reminders about Welsh Government and Estyn strategic priorities for tackling poverty and disadvantage. 7

13 Overall Success Characteristics for the Use of Deprivation Funding Ofsted (2012) reviewed the use by primary and secondary schools in England of the Premium Fund introduced in 2010 to support FSM learners. Where expenditure was considered to have been successful, the following characteristics were noted: funding was ring-fenced for a clearly defined target groups a clear distinction was made between efsm and low ability learners individual underachieving pupils (especially in English and Mathematics) were identified using robust data sources research evidence was used to select activities likely to have an impact on improving achievement day-to-day teaching was designed to meet the needs of each learner (rather than relying on interventions to compensate for teaching that is less than good) the best teachers were allocated to intervention groups, and new teachers with a good track record in raising attainment were employed progression and attainment data were frequently used to check whether interventions or techniques were working ( rather than just using the data retrospectively to see if something had worked) support staff, particularly teaching assistants, were highly trained and understood their role in helping pupils to achieve assessment strategies were systematically focused on giving pupils clear, useful feedback about their performance a designated senior leader had a clear overview of the entire support programme class and subject teachers knew which pupils were efsm governors were informed regularly of objectives and progress, with a publicised strategy attendance and positive behaviour were clearly targeted as areas for improvement links with families presenting barriers to learning were strengthened clear and robust performance management systems were in place for all staff (with open discussions about efsm pupils in performance management meeting) monitoring and evaluation was carefully planned from the outset in order to demonstrate the impact of each aspect of Premium spending on the outcomes for pupils. Sections [B] [C] and [D] of this guide provide details about successful approaches based on the identification of needs and priorities and the use of evaluation processes. 8

14 SECTION B IDENTIFYING THE TARGET GROUP 9

15 Cultural and social capital Less likely to have the experiences and support available to other students Behaviour At least three times more likely to be permanently excluded and to have unauthorised absence SEN Twice as likely to have a statement Teaching More likely to experience poorer quality of teaching Common School related characteristics of FSM students Turbulence More likely to change school and less likely to make successful transitions at Key Stages Setting More likely to be allocated to low groups than similarly attaining but non FSM pupils Key skills More likely to have problems with literacy and numeracy Curriculum Less likely to follow an appropriate curriculum and to make informed decisions on subject choices and qualification routes. Source: Hill (2013) page 8 (adapted from Rea et al 2011) Starting Points The starting point for PDG planning should be the identification of individuals entitled to additional support within either or both of the two general categories: eligible for free school meals and looked after children. This process includes recognising gaps and then devising ways of both raising the levels of achievement of these children and closing the distance in attainment between them and their peers. Recognise differences Reflect on impact and action plan Using the PDG Identify needs Measure the outcomes Devising ways to raise achievement and narrow the gap 10

16 This cycle can be documented within the school s PDG plan, including information drawn from: Analysis of the performance data available to the school Discussions with staff Reflection on success with the previous year s school plan Governor requests and recommendations Action plans after Estyn feedback Advice and constructive challenge from staff of the Regional Education Consortia Analysis of current and past data for attainment and progression Responding to good practice inside and outside the school The actual target groups might include the following categories of pupils who are also e-fsm/lac: Very able learners Particular ethnic groups Gender groups Transitional learners moving from Pre-School into the Foundation Phase, or from Primary into Secondary education Looked after children experiencing a change in fostering arrangements 11

17 Schools that challenge effectively the issues of disadvantage understand that white working class boys are less likely to achieve their potential than any other group of learners. These schools make changes to the way they organise learning experiences to motivate boys, sustain their interest in learning, and help them to improve their skills. They gather information regularly from male learners to adapt the curriculum to better meet their needs and interests. Staff in these schools use research findings to inform their teaching approaches, and do not oversimplify boy/girl issues or generalise inappropriately about boys preferred learning styles. Estyn (2012) page 22 Baselines and Learner Profiles Completing and documenting an analysis of pupils baselines and learning needs assists later evaluation of intervention impact. Hill (2012) lists the following components which can be used for compiling baselines: attendance rates mobility rates that is, the extent to which e-fsm students are changing schools relative to other groups behaviour records, including detentions, other sanctions, and temporary and permanent exclusions profile of GCSE options (including the number and proportion of e-fsm students selecting academically rigorous subjects profile of subject sets, where setting by ability is used profile of the quality of staff allocated to teach and support groups with high proportions of e-fsm learners, pattern of participation in extracurricular and out-of-school activities identification of additional support because of special needs or language problems parental support, including attendance at parents evenings allocation of work experience and internship placements destinations at Year 11 and Year 13, including progression to further and higher education involvement in student leadership Estyn provide a case study from West Wales illustrating the value of initial profiling: Case Study In % of pupils at Cwrt Sart Community Comprehensive School in Neath Port Talbot were eligible for free school meals. The schools used data from Fisher Family Trust and Cognitive Assessment measures in order to define individual learners baselines, followed by termly self-assessment questionnaires for self esteem, confidence and goal setting. Pupils were then allocated to one of seven bands based on their learning needs and targets, with coaching support for efsm and Looked After Children being provided. 12

18 Case Study (continued) Learners who are entitled to free school meals achieve well in Cwrt Sart. Over the last few years, they have achieved better results than those in similar schools. In 2011, 31% of free-school-meallearners achieved the level 2 threshold including English and mathematics, which was higher than the average performance of learners entitled to free school meals across Wales (22%). Source: Lewis et al (2012) Effective Practice Estyn page 6 Learner Voice In their review of poverty in schools Estyn emphasises that pupils who are disadvantaged are more likely to view their learning as irrelevant and to resist school culture. When this outlook is mixed with lower attendance and a lack of aspiration it becomes a recipe for exclusion from school life. The importance of actively listening to learners with disadvantages and recording their views and opinions is therefore crucial, with successful schools: Administering regular questionnaire surveys Organising focus groups Using suggestion boxes Arranging frequent one-to-one listening sessions with adults The needs of learners are identified through emerging feedback about teaching, homework, assignments, and school facilities and procedures. Successful schools do not just listen, they then respond through feeding back the results of listening to learners accompanied by action points so that there are tangible and visible outcomes. A pattern of future involvement in school life emerges when these actions are implemented, with pupils who participate within the listening exercise being more likely to engage with school responsibilities - such as joining mentoring teams, student action groups, and school councils. Case Study The Young Welsh Researchers are a group of around 25 young people who have been trained to undertake research from a young person s perspective about issues that directly affect children and young people in Wales. Their first piece of research was Small Voice Big Story, which investigated the issue of poverty and its impact on education. The project aim was to contribute to the body of knowledge on the lived experiences of children and young people, and was funded by the European Social Fund through the Participation Unit which is based at Save the Children in Wales. The Young Researchers were trained in research methods and then carried out research to capture and write up the views of other young people. Small Voice Big Story involved research with 178 young people aged between 11 and 14 through questionnaires and focus groups. The research findings and a clear set of recommendations for Welsh Government, local authorities, schools and other service providers were published in a report which formed the basis of campaign to give a stronger voice to children and young people in accordance with Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which recognises that children and young people have a right to express their views freely in all matters affecting them. Source: Small Voice Big Story, Young Welsh Researchers,

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20 Overall Strategy A series of reports, evaluations and other publications in recent years have provided useful advice on how best to plan interventions for use with the group of pupils who are being targeted for the use of the PDG/Pupil Premium ( Estyn, 2012; Ofsted, 2012, Egan, 2012 and 2013, Reynolds, 2013, Carpenter et al, 2013, Welsh Government 2013). A concise synthesis of this evidence would suggest that schools should concentrate their interventions on the following three areas: 1. Whole school approaches that focus on: Leadership; Effective learning and teaching; Pupil wellbeing. 2. Engaging parents and families. 3. Strengthening links with their communities, particularly through out-of-hours learning and mentoring interventions as a way of supporting aspirations. SECTION C PLANNING INTERVENTIONS This also aligns well with the anticipated National Poverty Plan and interventions funded through matched PDG/Communities First funding. Whole School Approaches Whole-school leadership has been identified as being an important factor in schools that succeed in overcoming the impact of poverty on achievement. If the leadership and staff of a school believe they can make a difference for all of their pupils, this is often a key determinant of success and demonstrates that they have high expectations of all their pupils regardless of their background. It can be argued that schools make the biggest difference of all for their most disadvantaged pupils and should, therefore focus a significant amount of their capacity upon them. 15

21 Leadership can develop this moral purpose through the following practical interventions using the PDG: Ensuring that a strategic plan is in place which demonstrates how the school intends to reduce the impact of poverty on achievement and improve the performance of e-fsm pupils. Designating a member of the Senior Leadership Team to lead this area of the work of the school and ensuring that this person reports regularly to SLT and other school meetings on their work. Undertaking staff development with all key leaders, teaching and support staff on strategies to improve the achievement of e-fsm pupils. Placing a particular emphasis in all of the above, on the effective use of data to monitor the performance of e-fsm pupils and the planning of effective interventions designed to address dips in performance. Ensuring that Governors are briefed on this area of the schools work and are involved in decisions about the use of the PDG and other strategies to tackle the impact of poverty. Developing a strong focus on working with parents and community organisations and programmes. All staff in the school, teaching and non-teaching and the school governors should believe that everyone can succeed to their full potential and that poverty should not be seen as an excuse or reason for this not to be the case. This vision should also be shared with students and their families. (Egan 2012 page 13) Case Study Every Leader of Learning takes responsibility for tracking pupils progress and when necessary, arranging timely interventions to remove any barrier to learning. Regular planning meetings are held to decide what type of support individual pupils need. The Leaders of Learning closely monitor an evaluate the impact of any intervention Source: Estyn, 2012, Best Practice Case Study of Maesteg School Effective learning and teaching approaches that can be used with low-achieving pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, have been identified through a major piece of research undertaken by the charity the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation. The Sutton Trust Toolkit has drawn upon a vast body of robust evidence based on thousands of research studies and millions of pupils. Using an effect-size method of measuring the impact of learning and teaching interventions on pupil achievement and factoring-in cost-effectiveness (value-for-money) it has ranked the most effective things that teachers and schools can do as part of their wider strategies to tackle the impact of poverty. A summary of the Sutton Trust s findings is presented below: 16

22 High Potential Impact Approaches Approach Estimated impact Learning Gain over a year (potential months gain in learning over a year) Estimated Cost based on a class of 30 pupils Available evidence base Early years intervention High 6 very high extensive Feedback High 8 low moderate Meta-cognition and selfregulation High 8 low extensive Peer tutoring High 6 low extensive Moderate Potential Impact Approaches Approach Estimated impact Learning Gain over a year (potential months gain in learning over a year) Estimated Cost based on a class of 30 pupils Available evidence base Behaviour interventions Moderate 4 very high extensive Collaborative learning Moderate 5 very low extensive Digital technology Moderate 4 high extensive Homework (Secondary) Moderate 5 very low moderate Mastery learning Moderate 5 low Moderate One to one tuition Moderate 5 high extensive Outdoor adventure learning Moderate 3 moderate limited Parental involvement Moderate 3 moderate moderate Phonics Moderate 4 very low Extensive Small group tuition Moderate 4 moderate limited Social and emotional learning Moderate 4 very low extensive Sports participation Moderate 2 moderate moderate Summer schools Moderate 3 moderate limited 17

23 Low, Very Low and Negative Potential Impact Approaches Approach Estimated impact Learning Gain over a year (potential months gain in learning over a year) Estimated Cost based on a class of 30 pupils Available evidence base Ability grouping Negative -1 very low moderate After school programmes Low 2 high limited Arts participation Low 2 Low moderate Aspiration interventions Very low 0 moderate very limited Block scheduling Very low 0 very low limited Extended school time Low 2 moderate limited Homework (Primary) Low 1 very low moderate Individualised instruction Low 2 low moderate Learning styles Low 2 very low moderate Mentoring Low 1 moderate moderate Performance pay Low 0 moderate very limited Physical environment Very low 0 low very limited Reducing class size Low 3 very high moderate Repeating a year Negative -4 very high extensive evidence School uniform Very low 0 very low very limited Teaching assistants Very low 0 high limited Source: adapted from Higgins et al (2012) 18

24 These ratings are only an approximate guide and they do not in any way guarantee success. Furthermore, the direct application of these approaches to e-fsm and LAC contexts in Wales may well reveal different outcomes, impact and costs. For example, somewhat controversially, the approach to dividing learners into ability groups is associated with a moderate evidence base and does not look promising when it comes to effective use of PDG resources. The finding of very low impact of teaching assistants has been the most surprising. It should however be noted that current evidence is described as limited. The effectiveness of teaching assistants will depend on how they are deployed within the classroom and whether they have received the appropriate training. A recent study based on randomised control trials in schools in England has challenged this outcome. It reveals that children receiving support by teaching assistants on catch-up literacy and numeracy schemes made the equivalent of 3 months additional progress over a year (Education Endowment Foundation, 2013). What this suggests is that whilst the Sutton Trust toolkit is a most useful guide for schools, it is precisely that - a guide - and should not detract from the professional judgements to be made by schools of the most appropriate interventions to be used in their specific context. The critical factor is for those judgements to be based on evidence and to be monitored so as to evaluate their impact. That said there does appear to be compelling evidence in the Sutton Trust work, supported by other influential sources including the work of Professor John Hattie (2008), for the following effective learning and teaching interventions: High quality feedback to pupils. Peer-to-peer learning (peer-tutoring). Developing thinking skills (meta-cognition). Early years interventions. It is therefore sensible to consider prioritising these interventions in the use of PDG funding, remembering - in the case of early years intervention that the PDG supports children from the age of five. The importance of developing the wellbeing of all pupils, particularly those who are experiencing poverty and its effects, is widely recognised to be of fundamental importance if children are to be in a position to enjoy their learning and make progress towards their potential. This is often portrayed as developing the self-confidence, self-esteem, self-efficacy, resilience, nurturing emotional intelligence and personal and social skills of pupils. All schools to some extent undertake this work through their pastoral and pupil support systems and work with outside agencies to maximize their efforts. The evidence suggests that generally primary schools are more successful than secondary schools in achieving success in this area of their work. This might explain why primary schools seem more able to dampen the impact of poverty on children s achievement than secondary schools. 19

25 Intervention strategies in this area might include the following: Improving attendance. Behaviour for learning approaches. Working closely with Families First and the Team Around the Family Developing personal and social skills. Supporting young people where a lack of family income prevents them from participating in home-learning, school visits and trips, eating breakfast and having essential equipment. It is widely accepted that whilst it is often difficult to show the impact of such approaches in improvements in the levels of achievement of disadvantaged pupils, they are a necessary precursor to success through engaging pupils in successful learning and teaching interventions such as those outlined above. This should not lead, however, to schools not carefully monitoring the outcomes of such strategies as part of their evaluation of the use of the PDG. Case Study Twenty-six per cent of pupils in Llwynypia Primary are entitled to free school meals. The school and the school s aims and values reflect the development of the whole child. The school ethos is based on the wellbeing of all learners and staff, and the school motto, We all believe, we all achieve! is evident throughout the school. To ensure effective support for its disadvantaged learners, the school has developed a systematic approach to developing learners wellbeing. Source: Estyn (2012) page 7 Case Study The school decided to adopt a specific way of interacting with pupils. This strategy aims to give pupils more responsibility for their behaviour in order to improve behaviour and commitment to the learning process. In January 2012 with the full support of the management team and the Headteacher, training on these methods was conducted for all members of staff. Following this training, the pastoral team began to plan a whole-school strategy that included the following points: Affective language - Staff were encouraged to use language that appeals to a pupil s emotion rather than giving orders. Quick chats: The main purpose of these is to create opportunities for pupils to share and express emotions freely and to develop a beneficial working relationship between staff and pupils. Restorative circles: The school has changed its practices of dealing with problems of discipline and conflict, by using restorative circles to solve any conflict between staff and pupils or among groups of pupils. Using restorative questions: When investigating and trying to solve problems, all members of staff received a card with examples of restorative questions on them. In Estyn s 2013 inspection, the inspectors noted that the school s restorative strategies promote excellent behaviour among pupils and has resulted in improvement in pupils standards, attitudes, behaviour, confidence and wellbeing Source: Estyn, 2013, Best Practice Case- Study of Ysgol Gyfun Bryn Tawe 20

26 Engaging Parents and Families Parents are the single biggest influence on children and their educational outcomes. The importance of what is known as the home learning environment and of parental/family influence cannot be understated. A major piece of research undertaken by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation ( reported in Egan, 2013; Carter-Wall and Whitfield, 2012) identified parental and family engagement as being the most important factor, outside of schools, in influencing the achievement of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The research pointed to four areas where parental and family engagement can be effective: Developing parenting skills. Involving parents in developing their own education as a way of supporting their children. Greater involvement of parents in the work of schools. Developing clearer understanding between schools and parents of the expectations that schools have of pupils. The extent to which schools are involved in such work currently is hugely variable. Primary schools generally do more than secondary schools, particularly in the early years. Inevitably such practice is much more widespread in more privileged areas and with more affluent families. Some schools are involved in specific strategies such as the FAST (Families and Schools Together) programme, Family Learning Signature and Family Values. Many schools seek recognition for their work in this area through the Investors in Families programme. Other schools do largely informal work not associated with any particular programme: some do very little at all. Given the importance of this area and the potential impact it can have on student achievement, this could be an extremely useful way to use the PDG. Whilst the evidence base on specific programmes that can be used by schools is as yet limited, the examples provided above and in the appendices to this resource provide schools with links that can be explored. Case Study Since 2010 there has been a significant increase in learners arriving at Pillgwenlly Primary School who do not speak English. The school has created a family nurture room where children learn alongside their family for 10% to 20% of the week and attending their base classes for the remainder of the week with home language support. As soon as learners have acquired skills to support them with their learning and wellbeing, they transfer into their base class full-time. Learners start their day by having breakfast, during which they use their home language as well as English and plan for the day. This provides an opportunity to address any worries about their planned areas of learning. The rest of the morning is focused on acquiring the necessary literacy skills and knowledge to support the children when learning alongside their base-class peers. Parents also have the opportunity of attending other family learning workshops while their children are in their base classes. Source: Estyn (2013) page 10 21

27 Case Study Capcoch Primary School identified a need to break down barriers between the school and families. They wanted to encourage parents to play an active part in the life of the school and to take a close interest in their child s education. This was established by initiating family outreach and support, adult learning classes, the running of a wealth of after school provision including holiday activities, parenting and community projects. We encouraged parents to enrol in school based adult learning programmes such as Literacy, Numeracy, ICT and parenting skills. The school discussed with parents the best way to identify and incorporate their views in shaping the direction of the school. Parental engagement has become a priority in the school. This work has had a positive impact on standards and the wellbeing of our pupils. Source: Estyn, 2013, Best Practice Case Study Capcoch Primary School 22

28 Strengthening Community Links Place matters in relation to poverty, including the impact it can have on pupil achievement. This is partly about local cultures whereby high levels of skills and qualifications have not been the norm in the past due to the nature of local employment. It can also be about peer group culture, where young people grow up in communities where there are few if any role models who have achieved success in progressing to apprenticeships, well-paid work and/or higher education. We now have a clearer understanding of the role that aspirations play within communities. A strong body of evidence shows that young people from these communities do not grow up without aspirations to succeed and their parents are almost all highly aspirational for them. Over time, however, young people often lack the resilience to persist with their education, become disengaged and do not reach their potential. Their families lack the knowledge, connections ( social capital ) and sometimes income to support their children s aspirations. This is why the research reported above by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that two of the other promising interventions that can be made with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds is the provision of additional learning opportunities after the school day is finished and mentors to act as role models and offer advice. The Welsh Government Communities First and Families First programmes provide opportunities for young people in our most disadvantaged communities to access this type of support and additional opportunities. Schools in Communities First areas could, therefore, use the PDG to support and co-fund joint activity. In all areas there could be potential links with Families First to support the most vulnerable pupils. Regardless of location, the value of schools developing strong links with their communities and community organisations and programmes, as a way of developing holistic support for the most disadvantaged pupils in the school, is an effective way to consider using the PDG. Case Study Senior managers developed a strategy that included: Establishing multi-agency partnerships; A training programme for staff; and A plan for family support and learning. The school coordinates services and practitioners around the child and family and through Canopi is able to sign-post families to relevant specialists. The school works in partnership with a wide range of agencies that deliver training on literacy, numeracy, financial management, digital and social skills. Source: Estyn 2013, pp12-14, Case Study on Treorchy Primary School 23

29 Case Study The community of about 3000 people is one of the most disadvantaged places in Wales as ranked by the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. It was developed as a council estate in the late 1950s and came to be regarded as a troubled community with high levels of deprivation including high unemployment, poor housing, serious health problems and low levels of educational achievement. In recent years whilst it continues to be a seriously disadvantaged community, its reputation and resilience has been transformed. This change has been led by the Communities First Partnership, which has drawn in significant support from other agencies, including extensive charitable funding to undertake a series of interventions. Within this activity education has had a strong profile. The two primary schools in the village and the local secondary schools where most of the pupils attend have become closely involved in the work. Previously the two primary schools were low performing and the children from the village in the secondary school rarely did well in education, with few proceeding to post-16 education. This level of education performance has now been significantly improved. The attendance, behaviour and more recently the achievement of pupils from the village are now better than the average in the secondary school. This success has been achieved through a growing commitment to education within the community, involving parents, families, local politicians, various organisations and the education system itself, including further and higher education and adult and work-based learning. The annual learning day is attended by over 100 individuals and organisations, who together plan the provision they will make in the community over the forthcoming year to provide a range of opportunities from preschool education, support for the schools, through to family and adult education. Source: Wales Centre for Equity in Education Case-Study of Glyncoch, Pontypridd, 2013 Appendix 3 of this resource provides more evidence on the three areas covered above. 24

30 In too many schools, plans for the grant are not based on the outcomes of self-evaluation and do not link well enough to the school s strategic plans. In a majority of schools, tracking systems are not sophisticated enough to capture improvements in standards and wellbeing. Estyn (2013) page 21 Introduction The Welsh Government stresses the importance of schools using evidence based approaches to PDG spending that can be reported to their local authority and consortia. Key information includes data from: Teacher assessments Reading and numeracy measures Attendance and exclusion statistics Estyn inspections Level 2 inclusive results SECTION D MONITORING AND EVALUATION The consortia via their System Leaders/Challenge Advisers and other Officers will use this evidence to produce an overview spanning four stages for demonstrating the effective use of the PDG: Inputs Activity Outputs Outcomes Estyn will also be asking schools to provide evidence on the effective use of their PDG funding as part of the inspection process and guidance from the inspectorate is to be published in the near future. A Three Step Evaluation Model Monitoring generates crucial information for evaluation, a process which asks the all- important question is the PDG being used effectively? Evaluation can justify continued funding for the PDG whilst at the same time pointing to methods that save teachers time and avoiding activity that has little discernible effect. 25

31 The starting point for planning evaluation should be carefully formulating the question that guides the entire study. Case Study Teachers at Notre Dame Roman Catholic Girls Secondary School in Southwark wanted to run a summer school targeted at its incoming Year 7 pupils eligible for free school meals. They wanted to work out the most effective possible form the school could take so decided to evaluate two alternatives (an in-house school and a school run by an external company) against one another. The teachers collaborated with colleagues at Notre Dame s feeder primaries and used pre-tests produced by the National Foundation for Educational Research to allocate pupils between the two summer schools. The tests were conducted in the Spring term of Year 6. The students were tested again in the Autumn term and the staff used this data, in addition to attendance data, staff observations and student survey results to determine which of the schools to use in future years. Source: Coe R and Kime S (2013) The DIY Evaluation Guide Education Endowment Foundation page 9 The Education Endowment Foundation has provided a very helpful outline for teachers to use when evaluating the introduction of any new learning and teaching method, or when introducing change within a school (Coe and Kime 2013). Their model can be adapted for use with the PDG: STEPS REMINDERS ACTIONS PREPARATION (to be completed by school) Defining the question Identifying the measure Defining a comparison group This can be a general query such as transitional support for efsm and LAC learners will have an influence on their progress and well being in year 7. Or it can be very specific such as the involvement of efsm learners in field trips will improve their GCSE attainment in Geography. Including for example standardised tests and inventories 1, or alternatively tailor-made measures devised by the school Is it possible to identify learners not receiving the same support as efsm or LAC learners? If this is difficult perhaps because the school wants to offer support to all students then a historical comparison with a similar group of previous pupils who completed the same course last year might be possible 26

32 IMPLEMENTATION Establishing a baseline The intervention itself Interim snapshots Final measures after intervention assessments) REFLECTION Analysis and interpretation of data Alternative explanations Reporting This means gathering information about pupil performance and well being before any PDG funded intervention takes place. If this information is not available perhaps because the intervention is already underway - then it might be possible to look at learners profiles from previous cohorts See section C of this Guide for examples. Intervention can be targeted such as peer mentoring or a catch-up reading programme) - or it can be more general (e.g. a summer school). Snapshots allow the school to check on progress and make changes if the intervention is not going according to plan they can include mock assessments, interviews, social media, self assessments and surveys of teachers and pupils A return to baselines in order to allow before and after comparisons. This could include GCSE results for example, or internal measures such as end of year teacher assessments can be used This is not just graphs and tables; it can include qualitative information drawn from interviews and focus groups and it can extend to the process of sharing information with colleagues in order to agree patterns, findings and interpretations It is important to consider other variables that may have had an influence on the intervention and that might not have been planned examples might include closure of the school due to bad weather, an unexpected mid-year change to the teaching team, or an exclusion of pupils following a serious incident The key sections can include: the actual question the context (place and time of the study and the people involved) the design (including the comparison group) the outcome (including how data was gathered and an explanation for any partial or missing information) results and conclusions including next steps 27

33 This three step model can be rehearsed and completed by teams of staff who are planning and implementing activities with e-fsm and LAC learners next year. It can then become the final working document for structuring and informing the final report to the local authority and consortium and as evidence for Estyn. Effect Size Any intervention that is undertaken by a teacher or a school is capable of making a claim that it has led to improvements in the learning of pupils. Education researchers have developed a way of measuring such claims which they call effect size. Any effect above zero means that achievement has been raised through the intervention. John Hattie, who has studied thousands of such interventions and the research that has been done on their outcomes, has concluded that about 95% of them can be seen to have a positive effect. So asserting that something has worked... is a trivial claim, because virtually everything works..for any particular intervention to be considered worthwhile, it needs to make an improvement in student learning of at least an average gain, that is an effect size of at least this is the hinge point for identifying what is and what is not effective. (Hattie, 2012, pp 9-10). John Hattie s book Visible Learning for Teachers provides useful information on how to develop and capture effect size and more guidance on what interventions to use to maximize achievement, and how to monitor and evaluate them. 28

34 The Context The following references be may be useful in explaining the reasons for the PDG to parents, governors and community leaders: The gap between the achievements of disadvantaged compared to advantaged children is present at 9 months old, is significant by the age of 3, grows in the primary years and accelerates particularly in secondary education. By the time that students complete their compulsory education at the age of fifteen the gap is at its biggest: it is two and a half times more likely that a student not living in poverty will achieve a high outcome than one living in poverty. APPENDIX 1 INFORMATION FOR USE WITH PARENTS, GOVERNORS AND COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES Statistics Egan D (2012) Communities Families and Schools Together p 5 Poverty is the strongest predictor of a child s future life-chances. In terms of attainment the facts speak for themselves: The highest early achievers from poorer backgrounds are overtaken by lower achieving children from advantaged backgrounds by age seven, by the end of Key Stage 1 the odds of a pupil eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) achieving level 2 in reading, writing and maths are one third those of a non-fsm pupil. The gap widens further during secondary education and persists into Higher Education. The odds of an FSM pupil achieving five or more GCSEs at A*-C including English and mathematics are less than one third those of a non FSM pupil. A pupil from a non-deprived background is more than twice as likely to go on to study at university as their deprived peers. Department of Education (2011) Why focus on pupils from poorer backgrounds? Comparisons of efsm and non-efsm learners for the school year note significant gaps in attainment across all key stages, becoming more pronounced as learners get older. 29

35 [Source: Estyn (2013) page 31] There have only been slight improvements over the period when it comes to narrowing the gap between efsm and non-efsm learner attainment at Key Stages 2 and 3, although Key Stage 4 level 2 threshold performance has improved at a better rate than in previous years: [Source: Estyn (2013) pages 31-2] 30

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