A Champion for Every Child is a pastoral tutoring programme that has had a notable impact for thousands of Pupil Premium pupils across the Kemnal Academies Trust. Emma Lee-Potter finds out how it works in practice at Smarden Primary School

From listening to children read to helping with anxiety issues, ACE tutors at Smarden Primary School are enabling disadvantaged pupils to progress academically and improve their outcomes and life chances.

The school, situated in a leafy Kent village, introduced the ACE programme in September 2021. The pioneering initiative offers one-to-one pastoral tutoring to Pupil Premium pupils at 45 primary and secondary schools run by the Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT), a multi-academy trust in the south and east of England.

Smarden Primary launched ACE (it stands for A Champion for Every Child) in September 2021. The school is relatively small, with 166 pupils on roll, a mix of children from rural families and youngsters whose families have recently moved out of London. A total of 11% are Pupil Premium pupils – 15 children in the main school and three in the pre-school.

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