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Martins Wood Primary School

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Martins Wood Primary School

Pupil Premium

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?

In the academic year September 2015 to July 2016 this school received a total of £ 122,417.

In the academic year September 2016 to July 2017 we will receive £67,666 for September to March 2017. When our budget for the next financial year is known in the March we will know our allocation for the remainder of the school year (April – July). The allocation is based on the number of qualifying children attending the school which is currently 86.


How can the grant be it used?

Deprivation can often be an indicator of educational need and this is the case for many 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 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
  • Non-teaching staff £47,000
  • Counselling £4,000
  • Opportunities fund £4,000
  • Resources and training £2,000
  • TOTAL £127,000


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 had a greater impact on progress and so we embarked on a strategy of decreasing the number of hours of teaching assistant time funded by the grant.  LSAs 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 all LSA interventions had an impact on the progress made by children we found that interventions delivered by teachers were significantly more successful. With this in mind we will be consciously reducing the amount of the grant being used to support LSA interventions and increasing the amount that supports teachers. Our BSAs supported pupils in a range of ways to improve their social and emotional ability to access learning. By and large this support was very tailored to the specific difficulties of the individual and often might have been simply the opportunity to talk through issues. For some children sessions on protective behaviours and social skills were 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 will the grant be 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 plan to use an increasing proportion of the Pupil Premium Grant to increase the number of teaching hours that are available to support the disadvantaged. We intend to use our funding for the autumn and spring terms as follows:


  • Teaching staff £25,000
  • Non-teaching staff £16,000
  • Behaviour support £20,000
  • Counselling £2,800
  • Opportunities £3,866
  • TOTAL £67,666


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 time supporting the disadvantaged pupils in their class. Their use of this time and the impact it is having will be monitored through regular pupil progress meetings. Already this strategy has been praised in a Pupil Premium Audit and word about 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 the grant operates in financial years, running from 1st April we will consider if we need to modify our planned spending pattern when our next grant allocation is known in the spring. Already, we are considering increasing the allocation that can be made available to support free places at our breakfast and after-school club as we have identified a number of children who are benefitting from this strategy and our current allocation would not sustain this for the whole academic year. We also intend to start offering extended care during school holidays building on our very successful breakfast and after-school club and we can identify disadvantaged children who would benefit from attendance at some of these sessions.


We will update this page with our spending plans in the spring when our allocation for the next financial year is known.