Pupil Premium

Pupil Premium Strategy 2022

This statement details our school’s use of pupil premium (and recovery premium for the 2021 to 2022 academic year) funding to help improve the attainment of our disadvantaged pupils.

It outlines our pupil premium strategy, how we intend to spend the funding in this academic year and the effect that last year’s spending of pupil premium had within our school.

School overview



School name

St Mary’s School

Number of pupils in school


Proportion (%) of pupil premium eligible pupils


Academic year/years that our current pupil premium strategy plan covers (3 year plans are recommended)

2022 - 2025

Date this statement was published

March 2022

Date on which it will be reviewed

March 2023

Statement authorised by

Paul Murphy

Pupil premium lead

Paul Murphy

Governor / Trustee lead

Frank Stanford

Funding overview



Pupil premium funding allocation this academic year

£ 39,370

Recovery premium funding allocation this academic year

£ 11,600

Pupil premium funding carried forward from previous years (enter £0 if not applicable)

£ 0

Total budget for this academic year

If your school is an academy in a trust that pools this funding, state the amount available to your school this academic year

£ 50,970

Part A: Pupil premium strategy plan

Statement of intent


To create an outstanding curriculum in which our intent, implementation and impact are fully aligned; accessible but always ambitious and meeting the diverse needs of all learners and in particular disadvantaged pupils, leading them, to having the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. 


As part of our curriculum review process and to inform the design of our new curriculum we consulted with all stakeholders. In summary, there have been a number of views shared, many of which are common across the groups surveyed which have been considered prior to the design phase of our curriculum:

  • There are clear threads in favour of retaining GCSE qualifications for those who are able and, in the case of English and Maths, for all if at all possible. At the heart of our approach is high-quality teaching focussed on areas that disadvantaged pupils require it most, targeted support based on robust diagnostic assessment of need, and helping pupils to access a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • Alongside this sits a clear view that, outside of English and Maths, qualifications may not be as important as skills acquisition. We must provide disadvantaged pupils with support to develop independent life and social skills and continue to ensure that high-quality work experience, careers guidance and further and higher education guidance is available to all.
  • The school is consistently judged on the ability to produce exam grades and, for our most able these are the cultural capital needed to progress to the Level 2 courses which will see them progress and allow them to make the transition between special education and mainstream FE provision in the future.  
  • There seems also to be commonality in a view that social and life skills should sit at the heart of any new curriculum. Our strategy will be driven by the needs and strengths of each young person, based on formal and informal assessments, not assumptions or labels. This will help us to ensure that we offer them the relevant skills and experience they require to be prepared for adulthood.




This details the key challenges to achievement that we have identified among our disadvantaged pupils.

Challenge number

Detail of challenge


To create a provision map which highlights the areas of CPD development for staff and informs the additional provision needed for our most vulnerable pupils.


Improving attendance rates for KS4 pupils and persistent absentees to ensure all pupils including our most disadvantaged have the social mobility to be successful at the next phase of their learning.


Establishing alternatives to FTE by offering more effective behaviour interventions and therapeutic support for our most at risk pupils.


To ensure middle leaders have the skills to apply the intent, implementation and impact when designing the curriculum or personalised support.


Ensuring the new curriculum provides our pupils with the life skills to be independent in the future.

Intended outcomes

This explains the outcomes we are aiming for by the end of our current strategy plan, and how we will measure whether they have been achieved.

Intended outcome

Success criteria

Improved attainment for disadvantaged pupils in all subjects, relative to their starting points as identified through baseline assessments.


Through achievement of improved performance, as demonstrated by our end of year assessments at the end of our strategy in 2024/25.

An increase in the number of disadvantaged pupils entered for GCSE subjects. For those that are entered, results show a reduction in the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

Improved language comprehension for disadvantaged pupils so that they can independently comprehend subject-specific texts with challenging terminology.

Assessment of pupils’ language comprehension shows a reduction in the disparity in outcomes between disadvantaged pupils and by the end of our strategy in 2024/25.

Pupils can use a range of communication systems to aid their understanding and to develop expressive communication skills.

Through achievement of EHC plan termly outcomes.

Disadvantaged pupils have greater confidence and independence to help them engage more with the wider community and prepare for adulthood.

Through observations and discussions with pupils and their families.

Disadvantaged pupils feel better prepared for career progression and / or HE opportunities through mentoring, work experience and opportunity.




All disadvantaged pupils are able to access high quality work experience and careers mentoring.

By the end of 2024/25, disadvantaged pupils are progressing to higher education at the end of KS5 in the same numbers as their peers.

Activity in this academic year

This details how we intend to spend our pupil premium (and recovery premium funding) this academic year to address the challenges listed above.

Teaching (for example, CPD, recruitment and retention)

Budgeted cost: £ 8,500


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

To identify and train a member of our pastoral support team to become a play therapist.

After a thorough review of SEN provision nationally, the Education Endowment Foundation concluded that: 

‘Pupils with SEND face significantly greater challenges in learning than the majority of their peers. This has resulted in the attainment gap between pupils with SEND and their peers growing ever greater.” 

We feel it is paramount, therefore, to offer additional and often bespoke support for our pupils to help narrow this attainment gap and to allow our pupils to function in everyday tasks. 



To create a careers, education advice and guidance coordinator to increase the number of pupils in Education, Training or employment when transitioning from school to FE.

The DfE’s research report on the economic value of key intermediate qualifications (2014) highlights the financial disadvantage of pupils who do not achieve at least 2 GCSE passes. It is important, therefore, that our curriculum provides the opportunity for all pupils to achieve the highest tariff of qualification possible to improve their social mobility in the future.  



Targeted academic support (for example, tutoring, one-to-one support structured interventions)

Budgeted cost: £ 12,213


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

To employ a speech and language therapy assistant to improve pupils communication and sensory development as part of our enhanced curriculum.

There is a wealth of evidence which clearly demonstrates the benefits for young people’s learning and personal development outside the classroom. In summary, learning outside the classroom: 

  • helps to improve social mobility, giving children new and exciting experiences that inspire them to reach their true potential. These real-world experiences raise aspirations, equipping young people with the skills they need to become active and responsible citizens and shape a fit and motivated workforce. 
  • addresses educational inequality, re-motivating children who do not thrive in the traditional classroom environment, such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds or with Special Educational Needs. Young people who experience learning outside the classroom as a regular part of their school life benefit from increased self-esteem, and become more engaged in their education both inside and outside the classroom walls. 
  • supports improved standards back INSIDE the classroom, raising attainment, reducing truancy and improving discipline. Learning outside the classroom is known to contribute significantly to raising standards & improving pupils’ personal, social & emotional development. 

Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) 2021 



To ensure all middle leaders have access to National Professional Qualifications (NPQs) in leadership and management, teaching and learning or behaviour.

The proportion of 16–24-year-olds who were NEET is higher for those with disabilities (29%) than those without (9%) (House of commons briefing paper NEET: Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training, 2018). There is a noticeable correlation between this data and the percentage of pupils NEET when transitioning between school, Further Education, Employment or Training. It is also clear that a link exists between our NEET data and the lack of GCSE qualifications achieved. It is vital therefore that we provide our pupils with a skill base that will enable a smoother transition into Further Education, Employment or Training.



Wider strategies (for example, related to attendance, behaviour, wellbeing)

Budgeted cost: £ 48,000


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

To develop a curriculum area which focusses on pupil engagement and attendance.  

It is often the case that schools will adopt a purely educational research approach in improving standards. However, a child with a Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) EHC plan requires an approach derived from research across several fields. A strengths based educational models represent a return to basic educational principles that emphasise the positive aspects of student effort and achievement, as well as human strengths. Dewey (1938) believed that “the purpose of education is to allow each individual to come into full possession of his or her personal power”. This is even more important when engaging pupils who are on the margins of school life, highlighted by poor or non-attendance. This approach not only encourages engagement but should lend itself to becoming more resilient, a feature of Dweck’s 2006, ‘Growth Mind set’ learning theory. If the child has a positive self-image they are more likely to be able to cope with the demands of learning and the challenges they will face beyond secondary school. ‘A child with a growth mind-set will grow to be an adult who is brave, resilient, and persistent’. (Dweck, 2006).


To introduce a variety of activities, areas and approaches to support pupils ‘Zones of regulation’ to help pupils reengage with learning as soon as possible.

The ability to control your own behaviour and emotions assists learners to maintain positive adult and peer relationships and helps develop behavioural independence into adulthood. Research indicates that to start teaching self-regulatory skills, individuals must first have the prerequisite skills to delay actions when requested and behave according to caregivers’ expectations (Kopp, 1982). Individuals on the autistic spectrum have deficits in social cognition or picking up these social rules and instead require specific teaching (Prizant et al., 2006). Therefore, in order to develop behavioural independence by self-regulating emotions and have an increased number of opportunities into adulthood such as access to the community, increased independence and building relationships, individuals may need to be specifically taught these skills.



Total budgeted cost: £ 68,713

Part B: Review of outcomes in the previous academic year

Pupil premium strategy outcomes

This details the impact that our pupil premium activity had on pupils in the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Our internal assessments during 2020/21 indicated that disadvantaged pupil’s academic and wider development outcomes were in general below what was anticipated. Despite being on track during the first year (2018/19), the outcomes we aimed to achieve in our previous strategy by the end of 2020/21 were therefore not fully realised. 

Our assessment of the reasons for these outcomes points primarily to Covid-19 impact. This disrupted the teaching of all subject areas and had a negative impact on most pupils’ development to varying degrees, particularly in limiting opportunities to progress social and communication skills and independence.

We mitigated the impact on academic outcomes by our resolution to maintain a high quality curriculum, even when pupils were not in school, via resources such as those provided by Oak National Academy. However, it was challenging to provide differentiated support to our pupils online.

Our assessments and observations suggested that for many pupils, being out of school, uncertainty and concern over their future and challenges around access to support were detrimental to behaviour, wellbeing and mental health to varying degrees. We used pupil premium funding to help provide wellbeing support and targeted interventions where required.

The impact of all of these challenges was greatest on our disadvantaged pupils, as has been evidenced across the country, and they were not able to benefit from our pupil premium funded improvements to teaching or targeted interventions to the degree that we intended.




Externally provided programmes

Please include the names of any non-DfE programmes that you purchased in the previous academic year. This will help the Department for Education identify which ones are popular in England







Service pupil premium funding (optional)

For schools that receive this funding, you may wish to provide the following information:



How did you spend your service pupil premium allocation last academic year?


What was the impact of that spending on service pupil premium eligible pupils?




Further information (optional)

Additional activity

Our pupil premium strategy will be supplemented by additional activity that we are not funding using pupil premium or recovery premium. That will include:

  • Working in partnership with local colleges to provide opportunities such as taster courses, link programmes and mentoring to enable young people with SEN to familiarise themselves with the college environment and gain some experience of college life and study.
  • Arranging work-based learning that enables pupils to have first-hand experience of work, such as apprenticeships, traineeships, and supported internships.

Planning, implementation and evaluation

In planning our new pupil premium strategy, we evaluated why activity undertaken in previous years had not had the degree of impact that we had expected.

We used the Fischer Family Trust (FFT) and the Sabden Multi Academy Trust database to look at the performance of disadvantaged pupils in school like ours. We undertook a comprehensive review of our curriculum which included a full stakeholder outcome audit, which provided us with a greater understanding of how to prepare all our students to be valued and successful members of their communities.  

We looked at several reports, studies and research papers about effective use of Pupil Premium and the intersection between socio-economic disadvantage and SEND. We also looked at a number of studies about the impact of the pandemic on disadvantaged learners. The pandemic has also given us deeper insights into family life for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and we have been able to forge stronger relationships with parents/guardians as a result.

In addition to the pupil premium funded activity outlined above, we have put in place stronger expectations around areas of effective practice. We have also put a sharp focus on supporting teachers to develop their professional practice and train in specialist areas, allowing them to develop expertise and share them with other staff.

We have used the EEF’s implementation guidance to set out our plans and put in place a robust evaluation framework for the duration of our three-year approach. This will help us to make adjustments and quality improvement to secure better outcomes for pupils over time.




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