What is the cost?
The Primary Writing Project provides high quality professional training, resources and support for the whole school. It aims to transform teaching and learning and develop the leadership of learning in school, leading to improved standards as well as positive attitudes to reading and writing for children and adults in school!
Overall costs work out at less than five pupil premiums per year. While we expect Pupil Premium children to be major beneficiaries of the programme, the Primary Writing Project is designed to benefit all children, narrowing the gap and improving standards in reading and writing across the board. Looked at like this, we think it is justified as very good value for money – something that schools that have completed the project have commented positively on. See What schools say.
The overall cost per school is usually in the region of £12,500 spread over two consecutive financial years. Schools will have to pay VAT on top of this but the VAT is reclaimable by the school. This total sum is invoiced over two consecutive financial years so the cost is spread. In practice, each participating schools pays in the region of £6,000 per year. We recognise that this is a serious financial commitment but we have costed it in relation to the current pupil premium rates, for which the PWP is a well-targeted and legitimate expenditure.
In addition to the overall cost, we ask schools to;
- provide venues and arrange catering for each training day financed internally by the partnership;
- sundry additional resources, for example, IT, flip charts for presentations and, from time to time, some children!
- Other costs to consider might be additional resources for school such as; supply costs to release Project Teams to work with colleagues back in school as well as books, easels, flip chart paper, washing lines and pegs for classrooms!
Setting up a partnership
We work with Local Authorities, Multi-Academy Trusts, school networks and alliances of various kinds, including Teaching Schools. In essence, schools who want to work together to raise standards in reading and writing. We are building the programme up carefully and aim to scale up to about 8 to 10 new partnership starts per year over the next few years.
Setting up a PWP partnership takes time and we normally leave quite a long lead time so that schools have time to get the work into their school development plan, agree dates and schedules and plan their financial commitments. This also gives us time to ensure the trainers are identified well in advance and can begin taking over the preparations as early as possible.
You will see from the list of PWP partnerships that we work in a variety of areas across the country and are expanding our reach to more regions as we go. Schools may be at any level in their Ofsted evaluations and a principle aim for us is to secure improved Ofsted ratings for each school.
A partnership usually consists of between 8 to 10 schools but may vary according to the size and make-up of the schools involved. We will work with interested schools to help build up a viable group. Sometimes, with very large schools (>3-forms of entry) we need to charge more because the numbers of teachers and TAs to be accommodated from these schools limits the number of schools able to join. On the other hand, in some cases, two schools with very small numbers (< 1- form of entry) may join forces to count as a single school.
Often, individual schools will express an interest but then say they cannot find sufficient other schools to make up a group. In these circumstances, we can sometimes help to find others who have shown interest or, sometimes, join individual schools into other developing partnerships. Also, once we have begun discussions and a partnership starts to look like a reality, other schools often decide that they will join, which helps us reach a viable number. As we said, it takes some time and negotiation to get a partnership set up.