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Understanding pupils, their families and their key barriers to learning is at the heart of our strategy to support disadvantaged pupils. It helps us help them to overcome challenges and difficulties, making the best use of our pupil premium funding.

Our whole Trust strategy involves using a diagnostic tool which applies a range of criteria to identify pupils who are likely to need additional support. Criteria align to key areas of vulnerability, including socio-economic disadvantage, SEND, attendance, behaviour for learning, progress, mental and physical health.

We then work to support all staff in recognising the level of needs within a particular criterion. This tool has enabled our schools to consistently identify barriers for all pupils and have a consistent language around both the barriers and the significance of the barrier.

Developing a shared understanding around the barriers has enabled us to map the interventions, resources and assets that can be accessed by teachers and school leaders to have a positive impact. This has enabled a consistent and collaborative approach to developing shared resources across the Trust. For example, part of our pupil premium funding has provided counsellors to support disadvantaged young people who may be experiencing a barrier around mental health.

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