It is worth replying to the following comment in a full post, given the interest this issue has generated among teachers since I first raised it.
Couldn’t the home visits just be the salary of a part-time attendance officer of sorts? Would explain the costs staying the same as numbers increased if it’s being spent on a person!
Hello Steve, thanks for your question. It’s a reasonable attempt at solving this mystery, given Michaela Community School’s silence on the topic, but it doesn’t bear scrutiny. According to publicly available information (page #8, last bullet point), the staff making ‘Home Visits’ are required to visit the home of each Pupil Premium child on a weekly basis to assist them with their mathematics, their reading and with their homework for other subjects.
Michaela Community School Financial Statements, 31st August 2015. beta.CompaniesHouse.gov.uk, accessed 2nd January 2017.
From 2014-15 that would be 59 visits weekly to homes of Pupil Premium children. This could not be achieved within 5 school nights. Even if we include weekends then the task would require more than one member of staff sufficiently qualified to teach across the curriculum flitting around several London zones like bluebottles on amphetamines. All of this within a budget of £10,000.00 to cover salaries and travel expenses. This seems unlikely and does not become any less absurd a proposition when the number of Pupil Premium children rises to 111 in 2015-16 for the same spend of £10,000.00.
When the pragmatics of this alleged Pupil Premium intervention are considered the question of how Michaela Community School has spent £20,000.00 of Pupil Premium funding over 2 years under the rubric of “Home Visits” becomes even more pressing and one into which I feel the Department for Education, Brent Council and Regional Schools Commissioner Martin Post might wish to look. It might even be of interest to Michaela’s Board of Trustees. Given their pride in “The Michaela Way” and their desire for other schools to replicate their operations I hope that Michaela’s management will now come forward with an explanation for all of this, or perhaps they will serve up another round of ad hominem attacks, more hilarious and hysterical false allegations further increasing the significance of these questions.