Pupil Premium: helping parents facing challenging financial circumstances. Please contact school for sources of support and signposting.
Poverty has always had a devastating impact on the wellbeing and life chances of many children in our country, and the recent pandemic has deepened the crisis. Those who were already disadvantaged and financially challenged have become more so, while many new families have fallen into poverty for the first time due to job losses or reduced income.
Food insecurity, poor housing, no money for essentials such clothes or paying the bill are just some of the issues that more than four million children faced before the pandemic hit and the numbers are now much higher.
Inequality has deepened and is increasingly impacting children’s growing and learning.
In the last year, particularly during lockdown, St Andrew’s has played a very important part in supporting disadvantaged children and their families: putting together systems to reach out, offering help and giving a sense of hope; opening the school to all children who found home learning challenging; offering advice and virtual or face to face activities; encouraging community resilience; working with other organisations to ensure the best possible support, and organising community volunteers to offer food parcels and clothing.
St Andrew’s has responded proactively as well to lockdown recovery. The school team have been working passionately to help children restore strong relationships with adults and other children as well as re-establishing positive attitudes to learning and ensuring all children catch-up academically. The school is providing a supportive model of intervention for vulnerable families, specifically that children identified as disadvantaged have equal opportunities to access all learning activities offered at school and the approach is carefully planned and implemented to ensure they make expected progress where relevant.
Schools use the Pupil Premium (PP) allocation to target support to children and young people, and they spend this funding in the best interests of children, to make sure that all children are given the same chances. St Andrew’s have been searching in these more challenging circumstances to find the most effective way to spend the PP allocation, to make sure that the additional barriers to growing and learning introduced by the pandemic can be defined and removed.
To make sure we can keep supporting families in the best possible way, St Andrew’s have also been involved with a ‘Poverty Proofing’ project with BANES local authority.
Childrens’ well-being is the highest priority. All teachers and staff are working really hard to make sure they bring the best out of every pupil, and they do this through nurture and support.
Connection with parents is also key; using a personalised approach and actively engaging with parents. Building and keeping relationships reduces the impact of external factors on children’s overall improvement. Parents should know they can always contact the school when in difficulty.