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 2020 to August 2021 this school will receive a total of approximately £103,000. (This is based on a predicted figure and the total may vary slightly due to fluctuations in pupil numbers).
The allocation is based on the number of qualifying children attending the school.
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 which often present as poor behaviour in school. 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 2019/20?
The total amount of funding available in 2019/20 was £118,000. It was spent as follows;
Additional teaching staff £35,500
Additional non-teaching staff (including behaviour support) £71,500
Opportunities fund £4,000
Resources and training £5000
We have much school based evidence to show the continuing impact that our use of the PPG is having. One of our strategies for narrowing the gap for our disadvantaged children is to use HLTAs to release class teachers to support the learning of disadvantaged pupils in their own class. Our data demonstrates very good progress for this group. In the case of the 2019/20 cohort almost all of our pupils who received funding were also children with SEND and many of them present with social and emotional difficulties.
A significant number of our disadvantaged pupils struggle with behaving appropriately at school. We are finding that this is an increasing trend. Our family support worker continues to help a number of them settle at the start of each day when they arrive at school bringing stresses from their home environment and are not fit to start focussing on school work. She has worked with many of the parents of these children to help them ensure they are meeting the needs of their children. It is hard to assess the impact of this work in raw data but we have a significant bank of anecdotal evidence demonstrating how the work of the FSW has helped children access their learning and prevented behaviour from having a wider negative impact within a number of classrooms. Many of the parents who have received support from our Family Support Worker have expressed their appreciation of the quality of support they have received. By enabling this group of children to settle better at the start of the day and have a place to go to with a person to support them we are reducing the incidences of low level disruptive behaviour in our classrooms which can be distracting for our focussed learners. In 2019/20 we were able to appoint an assistant behaviour support worker to work alongside the Family Support worker with these children.
A number of children benefitted from our Opportunities Fund which is money we keep for families experiencing financial difficulty to enable them to allow their children to attend our residential trip or other opportunities such as sporting or artistic endeavours.
Additionally in 2019/20 we were able to make a start on developing a new base to support children with challenging behaviour. Additional resources were purchased to equip this room.
In our most recent Ofsted inspection of November 2017 inspectors said of our use of the Pupil Premium;
"Leaders use additional pupil premium funding increasingly effectively. Disadvantaged pupils benefit from a range of strategies to improve attendance and make their learning enjoyable. Funding is also used to ensure that disadvantaged pupils have an equal opportunity to attend school visits, receive support to help fill gaps in their understanding and attend the vast number of extra-curricular activities available."
How will we use the grant in 2020/21?
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 or experienced teaching or behaviour assistant. We 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 are intending to explore the possibility of increasing the number of general teaching assistants (class based) in the school to release teachers and HLTAs to deliver daily support for vulnerable learners.
In 2019/20 we were in a position to use some of our capital grant to re-organise internal spaces to create a nurture room which is used to support our more vulnerable learners and in particular those with challenging behaviour at KS2. We will need to further equip this facility in 2020/21.
The numbers of pupils qualifying for PPG have risen this year due to families who have lost their employment or seen major cuts to their income during the lockdown period thus far.
We intend to use our 2020/21 funding as follows:
Non-teaching staff (HLTAs to release teachers) £58,000
Behaviour support £40,000
Further resources for new nurture base £2000
The proportion we are spending on teaching would seem to be declining compared to the previous years. This is because we are moving towards a system of providing release for teachers to work in small groups with their disadvantaged pupils by having year based HLTAs providing teachers with the equivalent of at least 30 minutes/day release for this purpose.
We are anticipating increased PPG income due to circumstances of families at the school changing during the Coronavirus pandemic. We will use any increase in the PPG in conjunction with our Catch-up funding to ensure that we put in place additional provision for our disadvantaged pupils to narrow any gaps in their learning.