Skip to content ↓
Southfields Primary School

Southfields Primary School

Vulnerable Groups

Vulnerable Groups at Southfields

What are vulnerable groups? 

Vulnerable children are amongst those groups that may need additional support or intervention in order to make optimum progress.  This could be children who have needs, dispositions, aptitudes or circumstances which may require particularly perceptive and expert teaching and in some cases, additional support beyond the school.

As a school, we have identified some potentially vulnerable groups which are listed below and they are tracked carefully and rigorously to ensure they make the targetted progress, therefore closing the achievement gap. 

We consider these groups to be potentially vulnerable:

  • Disabled pupils, and those who have special educational needs
  • Boys
  • Girls
  • Groups of pupils whose prior attainment may be different
  • Those who are academically more or less able
  • Pupils for whom English is an additional language
  • Minority ethnic pupils
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children
  • Children in care
  • Children previously in care
  • Pupils known to be eligible for free school meals
  • Young carers
  • Pupils from low income backgrounds
  • Other vulnerable groups

Southfields is dedicated to ensuring all pupils make excellent progress, including those who could be vulnerable.

2022 National Data

The disadvantage attainment gap increased nationally (as apposed to reducing in previous years). The Key Stage 2: National Statistics suggest that disruption to learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a greater impact on disadvantaged pupils.  As a school, we have taken steps to ensure gaps in core knowledge and understanding have been identified and measures have been taken to consolidate key learning and basic skills. 


How do we support these groups?

Southfields Primary aims to work effectively with every pupil, supporting them where necessary to overcome academic or emotional barriers that could prevent optimum progress and learning opportunities. We strive to enable all pupils to participate in the full and wide range of activities offered within and beyond the school. We endeavour to ensure that they have the very best learning experience and make excellent progress.

All staff are highly-skilled and have regular opportunities for development in order to meet the needs of pupils and families whose circumstances may make them vulnerable. This, coupled with good support from external agencies and the Local Authority, helps the school  to minimise any gaps in the progress pupils are making.

The school and parents/carers of potentially vulnerable children work in partnership to help to break down barriers to learning and progress pupils may encounter. Staff support parents/carers in order to maximise the potential for home learning and further support the children's knowledge.

We aim for pupils who are FSM, disabled and those who have special educational needs to make excellent progress and we give high priority to meeting their needs. Southfields ensures outstanding help from well-qualified Senior Leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, supported by a wealth of excellent resources that have a proven impact on raising standards. We strive for lower-attaining pupils identified in EYFS, KS1 results and those whose circumstances may make them vulnerable, to make excellent progress and any gaps between them and their peers are closed effectively using targeted support and rigorous monitoring.

Nationally, Boys perform less well than girls, but the school has put in place strategies that narrowed the gender gap, using a range of approaches to the curriculum, planning, teaching and learning, resources and school environment as well as wider aspects of school life. 


Attendance and punctuality is highly regarded and we work very hard with pupils and families to ensure this remains a key priority.  As a school we bring together professionals from Health, Welfare and the Police to support families as well as having day to day welfare support from a highly trained and knowledgeable officer with proven success.

Assessment and Reflection

Assessment plays an important role in teaching and learning and pupil progress meetings ensure that all staff understand where the children are at any given time and in which areas support is needed. This rigour and swift consequent actions ensure immediate impact.

Tasks are closely matched to students’ targets and their learning journey. Teachers and teaching assistants are deployed consistently well to help pupils by providing appropriate resources, support, encouragement and demonstrating skills that impact learners. This is particularly effective in Speech, Language and Sensory Integration development: which the school specialises in across the Local Authority and also with National Research.

As a school, we are consistently evaluating how individual pupils benefit and progress from provision.  This may not always be accessed through data, but also from a learning culture of talk and shared professional thoughts and judgements. We are especially effective with Special Needs and also where pupils needs, dispositions, aptitudes or circumstances require particularly perceptive and expert support or teaching. Southfields is highly regarded for its work with special needs and leads training throughout the City supporting many other settings through outreach and National Leader project work.


The Young Carers Policy is available here


  • Healthy Schools
  • Ofsted Outstanding 2011|2012
  • Ofsted Outstanding 2008|2009
  • Logo
  • Leeds Inclusion Chartermark
  • Arts Council England
  • Financial Management Standard in Schools
  • Arts Mark
  • Music Mark
  • Oracy School
  • Elklan