Additional funding has been made available by the DfE to support those students who do not reach a level 4 in English or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2.
This funding has been used to establish two Subject Specialist Teaching Assistant (SSTA) roles, one in each of mathematics and English. Each SSTA is a member of the subject department and works with teaching staff to support students with low prior attainment and to develop or adapt materials and resources to help these students to access the curriculum. The SSTAs also work after the end of the school day so that they have greater opportunities to liaise with the subject teachers. This means that each SSTA becomes an ‘expert’ in supporting low prior attaining students in their respective subject areas.
Increases over the past four years in the NJC salary scale and on-costs together with reducing catch up funding mean that the school budget now supports the SSTA roles more than originally envisaged. However, the success of these assistants is such that this is considered to be good value for money. The use of the funding is calculated as follows:
|Standard 2016/17 TA gross salary, 26.25 hours per week, NJC point 27||£15,176|
|Subject specialist gross salary, 37 hours per week, NJC point 34||£26,680|
|Plus on-costs @ 30%||£11,504|
|x 2 for two postholders, one for each of English and mathematics||£23,008|
|/2 for Year 7 cost (posts cover Years 7 and 8)||£11,504|
|Year 7 catch up funding (2015/16)||£8,000|
In 2015/16, 38% of those with a Key Stage 2 level 3 or below had a reading age of 10 years old at the start of Year 7. By the end of Year 7, this had increased to 71% of those students.
The progress made by students in English over the last four years (with catch-up funding) compared to 2011/12 (without catch-up funding) was as follows:
|Percentage making the expected progress in Year 7 in English from a starting point below level 4.
Prior to 2014/15, each level was divided into 3 sublevels and expected progress in Year 7 was two sublevels. In 2014/15, each level was divided into four sublevels and expected progress was three sublevels.
As from 2015/16, we no longer use National Curriculum levels to describe progress and attainment during Key Stage 3. Expected progress from level 3 is to a standardised score at Data Collection Point 5 which represents a GCSE grade 3 or higher.
Due to issues with continuity from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 in mathematics, the impact of our funding is measured with reference to scores in the Sandwell Numeracy tests. Students are tested before a 10 week period of intervention with the mathematics SSTA and then again afterwards.
Prior to starting extraction the students are assessed using the Sandwell Early Numeracy Test, Chin 15 minute numeracy test and the Chin four operation recall tests (1 min for addition and subtraction, 2mins for multiplication and division).
The Sandwell test provides a raw score which can be converted to a number age. For the four operation tests Chin provides an average score, 25th, 10th and 5th percentile score for each test.
The Sandwell Early Numeracy Test and the four operation recall tests are completed again at the end of extraction as a way of measuring progress.
Data is analysed for the students who were extracted during 2015-2016. Inclusion was based on starting KLB below level 4, or students who had a higher starting SATs score but then failed to match this on our assessments and thus have been assessed at below level 4 consistently on our assessments through the year.
Progress on the Sandwell assessment refers to improvement in number age; in terms of number of months. For progress on the 4 operation tests, the scores for each of the 4 tests have been totalled to give one score for pre and post extraction. The percentage change has then been calculated between the 1st and the 2nd.
The Sandwell outcomes show that, in 2015-16, on average, pupils have made 11.3 months progress over twenty 30 minute sessions or ten hours of intervention.
Four Operation Tests
The four operation test outcomes show that students on average have made a 44% increase in their ability to quickly recall number facts for: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.