Disadvantaged Implementation Strategy

Effective implementation of the Disadvantaged Policy

This implementation plan details the expectations and requirements of staff at The Gateway Primary Free School so that The Gateway Learning Community’s (GLC) ‘Disadvantaged policy’ is fully embedded to ensure maximum impact. 

The aim of the Disadvantaged Policy is to accelerate the progress of ‘disadvantaged’ young people (pupils in receipt of pupil premium funding)

Policy Rationale:

Across the GLC there are high proportions of young people who are deemed to be ‘disadvantaged’. Currenlty 170 pupils [15.4.21] 

Although some do progress well, historic data suggests that the majority do not make sufficient progress and year on year fall further behind their peers. This potentially, perpetuates the cycle of disadvantage.

Policy Aim

The policy is focussed on addressing this to ensure that all disadvantaged pupils, including the more able and those with SEND, make accelerated progress over time, addressing any learning deficits, in order to achieve their academic potential and attain in-line with ‘other pupils’ nationally. Whilst the barriers to progress will vary from pupil to pupil, common barriers that must be addressed of gaps in skills, knowledge and understanding can be addressed include the following:

- Difficulties decoding age-appropriate words and reading for meaning;

- Letter and number formation that is incorrect and a barrier to fluent writing;

- Poor number knowledge which hampers basic mathematical operations;

- Poor attendance;

- Poor attitude to learning and work ethic;

- A lack of aspiration.

Additionally, this policy aims to mobilise all staff, parents, governors etc to raise our expectations of all underachieving young people; to provide each with effective and tailored help; to universally and genuinely believe that they can achieve at least in-line with their peers nationally, and then to demand that they do so.


Outcomes - The identification of underperforming disadvantaged pupils

  • We forensically track the progress and attainment of all disadvantaged pupils based on prior attainment.
  • We forensically track the progress of basic skills (Reading fluency/Number Bonds/Times tables, etc) and identify where these are a barrier to disadvantaged pupils making accelerated progress.
  • We ask ourselves the question ‘why is progress slow?’ for disadvantaged pupils; using question level analysis to identify gaps in learning.
  • We strategically intervene with universal (in-class) strategies and targeted intervention (see above) to accelerate progress ensuring all agreed actions are implemented with rigour and consistency.
  • We maintain a current and comprehensive profile of disadvantaged pupils so that all adults are aware of their potential barriers to learning and so that targeted strategies can be tracked and evaluated for impact.


Potential barriers to Progress and Learning

  • We provide disadvantaged young people and their parents with the opportunity to tell teachers and/or the inclusion team about any factor that may prevent them/their child from being emotionally stable and ready to learn in the form of the ‘I wish my teacher/my child’s teacher knew…’  activity, with responses added to the universal provision map.
  • Our inclusion and SEND team work with the class teacher, families and outside agencies to provide disadvantaged young people with the support/therapy/intervention/alternative approach they need to overcome potential barriers to learning and progress and to ensure they are emotionally stable and ready to learn.
  • The Educational Welfare Assistant, supported by the Trust’s Educational Welfare Officer, forensically analyses the attendance of disadvantaged young people, providing the appropriate balance of support and challenge to ensure no pupil is disadvantaged by poor attendance and is able to thrive in all aspects of their learning
  • The inclusion and early years team carry out a home visit for all young people when they first start the school in order to fully understand each pupils’ family context and identify any potential barriers to learning which we work with parents and pupils to overcome.


Teaching for Learning – Universal (in-class) and targeted intervention

  • We have designed a broad and balanced curriculum which gives pupils exposure to a wide a range of cultures, raises aspirations, broadens life experiences and inspires them to improve upon their best. 
  • We strategically place underperforming disadvantaged pupils in the classroom in English and Maths to focus targeted questioning and support from adults, differentiated learning and to ensure maximum participation. 
  • We strategically intervene during learning with verbal feedback and praise for underperforming disadvantaged pupils and invite them to share their learning.
  • We identify underperforming disadvantaged pupils with a numbered purple spot and prioritise written feedback in order to highlight successes and support them to improve outcomes. 
  • We ensure the outcomes for underperforming disadvantaged pupils are displayed in the learning environment to develop self-worth and motivation to succeed. 
  • Class teachers and phase leaders ensure that all targeted interventions and therapies are delivered to a high standard so that gaps in learning, measured against age-related expectations, are closed where they exist.


Parents as active participants

  • Parents of all pupils are required to sign the School’s ‘Home and School’ agreement which they are held accountable to, such as the requirement to attend parents’ evening and to support and encourage their child with home learning.
  • Parents are regularly informed about their child’s progress and attainment compared to national age-related expectations with clear guidance about how they support at home.
  • In-line with the ‘Home and School’ agreement and the ‘Disadvantaged Policy’ there is the expectation for parents to engage in the ‘Pupil Learning Passport’ process. This is a partnership between parents, pupils and the school which supports underachieving disadvantaged pupils to accelerate progress in key skills, such as reading fluency, times, spelling and handwriting.
  • In-line with the ‘Home and School Agreement’, parents of all underachieving pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, are expected to attend Additional Learning Periods (ALPs) which supports them to accelerate progress in key skills, such as reading fluency, spelling, times tables and handwriting.