Pupil Development Grant

Purpose of the grant

The purpose of the PDG is to improve outcomes for learners eligible for free school meals (eFSM) and Looked After Children (LAC). It is intended to overcome the additional barriers that prevent learners from disadvantaged backgrounds achieving their full potential.

What successful schools do

Successful schools plan interventions that focus on improving the attainment of children from deprived backgrounds, specifically those who are eFSM. They are clear in what they expect from an intervention, they monitor progress and evaluate the effectiveness of it.

Successful schools integrate their plans for using the PDG into their school development plan (SDP), drawing on best practice, well-evidenced interventions and as part of a whole-school strategy.

These schools balance whole school and targeted interventions to ensure that every eFSM learner benefits as an individual and the school as a whole improves its capacity to support all learners to reach their full potential. Examples of good practice can be found in the case studies hosted on Learning Wales: www.learning.wales.gov.uk/resources/browse-all/reducing-the-impact-of-poverty-on-educational-achievement/?lang=en

Eligible uses for PDG

While the PDG must be used to support eFSM and LAC learners, the grant does not have to be tracked to those learners. Only eFSM and LAC learners may receive PDG-funded support from individualised programmes such as Catch Up, but the grant may also be used for whole-school strategies that disproportionately benefit eFSM and LAC learners. This includes buying in speakers and trainers for INSET days focussing on recognising and mitigating the impact of poverty on educational attainment; joint planning days for classroom teachers and teaching assistants to support eFSM and LAC learners; or developing appropriate tracking systems to identify the particular needs and evaluate the impact of interventions for these groups of learners.

All schools in receipt of the PDG should also consider how they can develop whole-school strategies for:

The PDG should be used to implement the range of actions set out in the Welsh Government’s Rewriting the future: Raising ambition and attainment in Welsh schools, published in June 2014 (www.gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/schoolshome/deprivation/ rewriting-the-future-schools/?lang=en).