The Pupil Premium Grant
What is it?
The Pupil Premium Grant is an additional source of funding which is allocated to schools based mainly on the number of children who are entitled to free school meals.
How much do we get?
For the current academic year, September 2016 to July 2017, this school received a total of £114,333.
The allocation is based on the number of qualifying children attending the school which is currently 85.
How can the grant be used?
Deprivation can often be an indicator of educational need and this is the case for some of the pupils attending our school.
There will be children qualifying for the grant for whom there is no educational need. However, these children may have more limited opportunities than some of their peers because of the financial circumstances of their families.
This means that the grant can essentially be spent in two ways. Firstly it can be used to help the school address any differences in attainment between children receiving the grant and the typical national level for that year group. It might also be used to enable children to participate in activities and opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them.
What are the needs of children at Martins Wood?
The main presenting difficulties of the children for whom we receive this funding fall into three categories; speech and language; attendance; and social and emotional needs. In deciding how to spend the Pupil Premium Grant we put strategies in place that will have an impact on these needs.
How do we use this funding?
We are required to report our Pupil Premium Grant spending on our website for the previous academic year along with our plans for spending the funds in the year ahead.
How was the grant used in 2015/16?
The total amount of funding available in 2015/16 was £127,000 because we had a small carry forward of just under £5,000 from the previous year. It was spent as follows;
Additional teaching staff £70,000
Additional non-teaching staff £47,000
Opportunities fund £4,000
Resources and training £2,000
What difference did our 2015/16 spending make?
The money spent on additional teachers enabled us to put a part time teacher in each phase of the school. As well as supporting the pupils with individualised intervention programmes these teachers also worked with the children at other times of the week as a class teacher when their own teacher was away from the classroom (Planning, Preparation and Assessment time). This enabled the part-time teacher to have a more holistic view of the children they were supporting and we have strong evidence that all children supported in this way made at least good progress and that any differences in attainment between them and the national attainment level for non-disadvantaged pupils is being diminished.
The additional non-teaching staff paid for through the Pupil Premium Grant were made up of learning and behaviour support assistants (LSAs and BSAs). Up until 2015/16 we had largely used the grant to fund teaching assistants. However, following a review in summer 2015 we decided that teachers were having a greater impact on progress with these children and so we embarked on a strategy of decreasing the number of hours of teaching assistant time funded by the grant. LSAs continue to help us to offer a range of appropriate intervention strategies such as guided reading, sensory circuits, finger strong, specialist speech and language support, Five Minute Box and Plus One. Although such interventions were having an impact on the progress made by children we found that interventions delivered by teachers were significantly more successful. This finding was backed up by national research from the Sutton Trust which clearly indicated that interventions had greater impact when teachers were used rather than support staff. With this in mind we have been consciously reducing the amount of the grant being used to support LSA interventions and increasing the amount that supports teachers.
Our BSAs support pupils in a range of ways to improve their social and emotional ability to access learning. By and large this support is tailored to the specific difficulties of the individual and often might simply be the opportunity to talk through issues. For some children sessions on protective behaviours and social skills are delivered and in many cases work was also done with the family in the school and at home, particularly for children whose attendance was poor. We have impressive case studies demonstrating impact on attitudes to learning and on much improved attendance.
Opportunities funding contributed to a wide variety of things such as fees for schools trips, uniform and equipment. Some funding was also used to support a number of “free” places at our breakfast and after-school clubs.
A selection of success stories from 2015/16
Intensive emotional and behavioural support along with working closely with other agencies led to a very significant improvement in attendance for a KS2 pupil. (Spring 34.8%, Summer 96.7 %).
1:1 phonics support using Martins Wood Time improved performance in the Y1 phonics check from 7/40 in the autumn to 38/40 in the test.
A KS2 writing group led by a part time teacher all made at least expected progress with 75% of them making good progress in just one term.
In a KS2 Maths group led by a part time teacher all children made two steps progress in one term.
End of KS1 data shows all PPG children made at least expected progress in English and Maths.
End of KS2 data shows that all PPG pupils made at least good progress in reading and maths.
KS2 pupil able to sustain longer concentration and more time in the classroom without becoming distressed and distracted following regular, structured intervention from one of our BSAs. This had a very positive impact on their rates of progress.
How is the grant being used in 2016/17?
All our evidence from reviewing the impact of our intervention strategies over the last few years supports the view that for learning needs the best interventions are those led by a qualified teacher. We therefore intend to continue with our strategy of increasing the proportion of the Pupil Premium Grant that is used to generate teaching hours to support the disadvantaged. We intend to use our 2016/17 funding as follows:
Teaching staff £50,000
Non-teaching staff £16,000
Behaviour support £40,000
The proportion spent on teaching would seem to be declining compared to the previous academic year. This is for two reasons. Firstly the number of children attending the school who are entitled to receive the Pupil Premium Grant is declining, largely due to demographic factors in this part of Stevenage. Secondly, the part-time teachers we introduced in September 2015 are still working with intervention groups within their allocated year group but they are being funded through the school budget and not by the Pupil Premium Grant. The teaching allocation is to enable all class teachers to have time with pupils in their own class to follow up on learning difficulties that emerge from general class teaching. This strategy was developed during 2015-16, using Martins Wood Time, an additional allocation of PPA time that was introduced as a recruitment and retention strategy in the first instance. Our review showed this to be the most powerful intervention strategy in place and there were numerous examples of pupils making better than expected progress as a consequence of such support. Therefore, in 2016-17, teachers have been directed to spend at least one-and-a-half hours of their Martins Wood Time supporting the disadvantaged pupils in their class. Their use of this time and the impact it is having is monitored through regular and rigorous pupil progress meetings (at least half-termly). Already this strategy has been praised in a Pupil Premium Audit and word about it has spread to other schools and they have visited us to see how it operates.
When will we review the impact of our spending plans for 2016-17?
We continually monitor the impact of all interventions, particularly those funded by this grant because we want to ensure that it is diminishing any differences in attainment between our more vulnerable learners and the national average for that cohort. As we approach the end of the 2016/17 academic year we are analysing school data to confirm that our interventions are diminishing any differences in attainment for disadvantaged pupils. This will enable us to abandon any interventions that are less successful and focus on those that are having the greatest impact.
We have not yet reached the end of the academic year but already we have strong evidence that we are using our Pupil Premium Grant to make a difference to our disadvantaged learners.
Success stories from – September 2016 to April 2017
It is not yet the end of the academic year but already we have a number of good case studies demonstrating the impact of our use of PPG.
In Year 2 the percentage of disadvantaged pupils making good and very strong progress is higher than non-disadvantaged pupils in Reading, Writing and Maths.
In Year 3 the percentage of disadvantaged pupils working at ARE+ is higher than non –disadvantaged pupils in Reading and Writing and the percentage of disadvantaged pupils making good progress is higher in all subjects.
In Year 5 the percentage of disadvantaged pupils working at ARE+ has increased in Reading and Maths and the gap has narrowed in all subjects. The percentage making good progress has increased in Writing and Maths thus narrowing the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils.
In Year 6 the percentage of disadvantaged pupils working at ARE+ has increased in all subjects. The percentage making good progress has increased by 10% in Reading and Writing and 4% in Maths.
We are concerned that in Y4 the percentage of disadvantaged children working at ARE+ has declined in all three subjects. The SENCO and Assistant Head for KS2 (lower) have reviewed provision and made changes to get this back on track by the end of the school year. There have been recent changes to the teaching team in Y4.
Our plans for using the Pupil Premium Grant in 2017/18
The school is advised how much PPG it will receive with our budget notification. The budget runs in financial years from April to March. The allocation for 2017/18 detailed above includes the funding to the end of the current academic year. For September 2017 to March 2018 we will receive £65,333. We will be advised in our budget notification (March 2018) how much funding we will receive for the summer term 2018.
In the final half term of this academic year we will carry out a thorough and rigorous review of the impact of our PPG spending and this will inform our decisions for PPG spending in the coming year. At present it is looking likely that we will continue to use the grant to enable teachers to work with disadvantaged pupils in their own class as we have many case studies demonstrating that this makes a significant difference in most cases. Following that review (June 2017) we will update this page to reflect our proposed spending for 2017/18.