Maiden Erlegh School

 Letting the students in on the secret – creating a personalised approach

Case study by Mary Davies.

Tell us about your school

Maiden Erlegh School is a large secondary school situated in a relatively affluent suburb in the east of Reading.  The school is proudly comprehensive and breaking down barriers to learning and integration are key to our work.

The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is below the national average (ca 10%) however the overwhelming majority of these are Free School Meals (8-9%)  One of the main priorities for us is, therefore, to ensure that being entitled to the Pupil Premium Grant is not a stigma, but rather an advantage in which the students have a stake.

What did you do to create such notable success with the pupil premium?

At the start of the year, all new Pupil Premium students and their parents have a meeting with their tutor, during which the grant and how the school uses it is explained. In Year 7 all students are entitled to take part in our week residential to Wales which enables them to mix with a wider range of students from their year group. They are also informed that they each have a personal bursary (£100 for FSM6 and £150 for FSM, looked after and adopted students). They are entitled to spend this on anything that they feel will help their education. This can be equipment (calculators, dictionaries etc), uniform, materials for art or catering projects or to help them participate in trips etc. In some cases, they have chosen to spend this on revision materials or software packages.


These two strategies are just two of a matrix of a range of actions at school, department, pastoral and teacher level which mean that each student can access a bespoke package of support, encouragement and intervention. Another impact of the approach, is that it leaves capacity in the use of the funding to adapt to the different needs of the students as the enter and progress through the school. For example a few years ago we had no more able disadvantaged students, now nearly half are more able. The in-built flexibility in our approach means we have adapted to meet their needs, whilst maintaining our previously strong standards.

The results of this personalised approach can be seen in improved behaviour and engagement (in lessons and with wider school life), improved attendance and improved outcomes (including the fact that they continue with their education, or into meaningful training or employment after they leave us). Improved engagement with school can be seen in the students’ participation in clubs and enrichment but also in the fact that they are increasingly staying on into the sixth form.

Winning the Award

We are all extremely proud of the achievement of winning the regional Pupil Premium Awards for two years in a row and are excited about the prizes that have been won.

Get in touch

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