Plymouth CAST’s goal is to ensure that all children – including the most disadvantaged – get the educational opportunities they deserve and make the most of them. Moreover, in line with our Vision, the Trust is firmly committed to raising the achievement of disadvantaged children in each of its schools and refuses to accept that any child is ever destined to underachieve by virtue of their social circumstances.
The Trust regards raising the achievement of disadvantaged pupils as being at the very core of its moral purpose. Every person employed by CAST has a part to play in helping disadvantaged children to achieve educational excellence, and each of us acknowledges that we are accountable for the impact of our efforts to improve outcomes and diminish gaps in achievement, including the use of the Pupil Premium.
"The Trust regards raising the achievement of disadvantaged pupils as being at the very core of its moral purpose. Every person employed by CAST has a part to play in helping disadvantaged children to achieve educational excellence..."
The Trust’s strategic work on the Pupil premium - at both Board and school leadership level - is underpinned by the seven building blocks of success identified by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) in its November 2015 report, Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils: Articulating success and good practice:
- Promoting an ethos of attainment for all pupils, rather than stereotyping disadvantaged pupils as a group with less potential to succeed;
- Having 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;
- Focusing on high quality teaching first rather than on bolt-on strategies and activities outside school hours;
- Focusing on outcomes for individual pupils rather than on providing strategies;
- Deploying 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;
- Making decisions based on data and respond to evidence, using frequent, rather than one-off assessment and decision points;
- Having clear, responsive leadership: setting ever higher aspirations and devolving responsibility for raising attainment to all staff, rather than accepting low aspirations and variable performance.
The Trust believes that school leaders are best placed to make decisions about how pupil premium money is spent in their respective schools. However, schools will be held to account by the Trust’s Board and their Local Governing Body for the impact of their spending. School leaders will need to be able to describe the barriers to learning which they have identified and explain why particular strategies have been chosen to address them. They will be required to report on the impact of their chosen strategies and the lessons learnt.