Closing the Gap


Children may be vulnerable for different reasons:

  • Exposed to the possibility of harm emotionally or physically
  • In need a special care, support or protection due to age or disability, risk of abuse

Children who show underachievement may be because:

  • doing less than expected in school work
  • low economic – late for school, care needs unmet, lack of motivation, lack of meals
  • children’s emotions- child may not be in a positive place, this may impact their learning.

Free School Meals (FSM) 

2013, all  children in KS1, no matter their circumstances, were entitled to free school meals. Some schools struggled to do this due to lack of amount of food and funds. This was put into place to support deprivation. This gap supported children who where vulnerable the most and there was a 2% increase in children’s targets due to FSM.

Education Endowment Foundation


An organisation which offers evidence which supports and identifies aspects of children’s learning, their attainment and closing the gap.

‘Parental involvement in learning may have wider benefits beyond boosting attainment outcomes, and it continues to be a priority for many schools.’

When I have been on practice, I have observed how parental influence can impact children’s learning. It was evident that children’s motivation and learning was influenced through parents and in some cases the children’s extrinsic motivation was the driver of this.

Pupil Premium 

An extra budget for schools who have a higher amount of children who have free school meals. As well as this, children who may be; in care, adopted, have a residency order, the school receive more of a budget. OFSTED will look into this when they visit schools to identify what the money is being spent on, to ensure it is spend on thcharacteristicse vulnerable children and a report should be done to evident this.

There is no guidance on how the schools should spend this mone
y, it is up to the teachers/school, however it does need to be evident on how the money has been spent. Therefore, teachers and schools will have to assess and know their children’s needs to support them appropriately. The Government say that the pupil premium is the best way to address the inequalities between FSM and wealthier families.

TASK – There are many ways in which the characteristics can be addressed and how the premium can be spent on the approaches.

ATTENDANCE/PUNCTUALITY breakfast clubs, coffee mornings, travel costs, walking bus, parent involvement.

PARENTAL ENGAGEMENT – parent support groups, texts home, parents part of the school website, involve parents in children’s learning.

MALNUTRITION/WEIGHT/HEALTH ISSUES – breakfast group, guest speaker, supermarket visits, wake and shake, healthy eating cooking clubs, work alongside parents, grow own veg/fruit – have in school,  start early so children understand nutrition.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY – go-noodle, specialist coaches, walks around school/community/ school trips, teacher involvement, PE kits in school, new different equipment.

A key point is to ensure that the premium is spent on the needs of the children and also that the support in place makes the difference you would like to change.


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