Grant Funding

Why is grant funding important, and how is it used at MHS?

Grants are an important component of expanding and enhancing the educational provision and services for students here at MHS, as well as the wider community. Truth be told, the steady stream of funding schools receive is mostly already allocated before we even receive the money. However, grant funding allows us to offer unique opportunities and strands of support that wouldn’t otherwise be feasible within the standard school budget.

Our most recent successful grant bid… £980 from Pembrokeshire Youth Bank!

This bid was put together by our wonderful team of pupil Sports Ambassadors. As part of this special role the young people try to role model a healthy and active lifestyle both in school and the wider community, taking an active role in leading and facilitating sporting opportunities for everyone. Our Sports Ambassadors believe that sport should be inclusive of everyone, whatever your ability, and they aim to include ‘more people, more often’. 

Please see below an extract from the project proposal:

We would like to revive the RIKA sessions here in Milford Haven, these were extremely popular exercise classes that use rebounders/ mini trampolines to build strength, stamina and overall fitness. There are so many benefits from this type of exercise- it increases oxygen flow, increases blood flow and improves circulation, lowers risk of heart disease, increases red blood cell production, strengthens the heart, lowers resting heart rate, reduces cholesterol levels, supports healthy thyroid function, burns calories, lowers blood pressure, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and so much more! Unfortunately, due to CVD restrictions, we are not able to lend equipment from other sites as we have done previously, and so we are unable to offer these sessions to the community of Milford Haven without investing in our own equipment. There is a huge demand for these sessions, and we would be the only venue in the town delivering this kind of class. The closest alternative venue to access these classes is Neyland, which excludes many residents that may not have access to the funds or transport required to get there. 

RIKA is a really inclusive and unique means to get our school community active. Post pandemic it is possibly more important than ever that we facilitate healthy lifestyle choices that promote both positive physical and mental health. We have done some research and the Sports Ambassadors are aware that people’s physical and mental health has gotten much worse because of the pandemic, according to the news girls and women have been much more impacted negatively by the restrictions that were put in place. We don’t think it is enough for us to just tell people to be healthier, as part of our role as Sports Ambassadors we want to make being active fun and give people more opportunities to make good choices and live healthier lives. For a long time we haven’t been able to socialise and have had limited ways to release our stresses. Exercise is scientifically proven to release happy hormones, and so whether you are a pupil funding it hard to be back in school or a teacher funding the pandemic stressful, so many people within our community could benefit from RIKA classes. 


In July 2018 the Welsh Government introduced a new scheme called the Pupil Development Grant – Access. This funding has recently been extended and is now available to pupils who are eligible for free school meals and attending:

Reception of maintained primary schools – compulsory school age

Year 1 of maintained primary schools

Year 3 of maintained primary schools

Year 5 of maintained primary school

Years 7, 8,9,10 and 11 of maintained secondary schools

Pupils in special schools, special needs resource bases and pupil referral units in the above year groups.

The Funding is also available to all Looked After Children of compulsory school age.

Funding of up to £125 is available for each eligible learner with the exception of those in Year 7.  Eligible learners in Year 7 will be entitled to a maximum of £200.

Application forms are available to download here: Application for Welsh Government Pupil Development Grant – Access 20/21


PDG (Pupil Deprivation Grant) 2021/22

The Pupil Development Grant (PDG) is allocated to schools with pupils who come from low income families and are currently known to be eligible for free school meals (eFSM).  Schools are expected to make the best use of this funding to implement sustainable strategies that will quickly bring about changes for learners eligible for free school meals or who are LAC (looked after children).

In 2020-21, Milford Haven School was provided with a PDG allocation of £212,750

At Milford Haven School we have incorporated the PDG into our whole school development plan which has been approved by the Governing Body, the local authority and ERW. 

The key priorities within the plan with particular relevance to PDG are:

  • To improve attendance of eFSM learners in order to reduce the impact of deprivation on educational attainment
  • Improve the academic performance of eFSM pupils at KS3 and KS4
  • Address the curriculum needs of all pupils and remove barriers to learning for learners from deprived backgrounds.

Examples we have used the funding available for are:

  • Providing support to pupils in KS3/4 through ATL mentor.
  • Provide a bespoke vocational pathway at KS4 that secures 3/4 level 2 qualifications for a targeted group of young people
  • Provide a bespoke learning experience for KS3 ALN (FSM) pupils to engage in creative, team building and confidence boosting activities
  • Work with key service providers to deliver a menu of focused learning opportunities for all FSM/LAC Pupils.
  • Provide LAC/FSM pupils with structured 1 to 1 time to catch-up and develop skills.
  • Enhance learning opportunities that develop transferable skills and knowledge back to the classroom- enrichment opportunities as part of our Well Being Friday offer to pupils
  • Support the Community Engagement officer working with family learning providers, external agencies and school staff to ensure smooth delivery of targeted intervention support that underpins teaching, learning and family engagement
  • To carry out home visits to support our FSM families and build positive relationships with them to improve attendance
  • Provide a Pupil Support Counsellor to work with identified & referred pupils that will require emotional counselling support.

Part of our PDG funding has been spent on providing access to the ICE Academy for some of our young people who require an alternative to our mainstream curriculum provision. The ICE Academy is an innovative portfolio of Industry Qualifications delivered by Really Pro in partnership with 750 National and local businesses, offering  young people aged 11-16 the opportunity of achieving between 1 – 8 GCSE equivalent* vocational qualifications with real life experiences and opportunities to learn about a  chosen sector or career pathway. 

The ICE Academy combines the best of current best practice education methods, relevant  skills and industry know how and puts this into innovative, practical, recognised  qualifications designed to help young people achieve important skills for life, so they can  enter further education, other vocational pathways or work as an apprentice in a specific  industry by Y11. 


The Regional Consortia Funded School Grant (RCSIG) allows schools to put in place practical support to help improve the educational attainment of our year 7 and 8 pupils and ensure their performance is in line with expectations.  

As a school, we aim to ensure that every pupil reaches their potential with targeted interventions to ensure that all learners  benefit as individuals, whilst the whole school also develops its ability to support every learner to achieve their full potential.

In 2021-2022, Milford Haven School was provided with an initial budget of  £74,746 which was then increased to £94,773. The spending plan links into our whole school development plan and was approved by governors.

The key priorities are:

  • Raise literacy and numeracy standards in years 7 and 8. 
  • Ensure performance is in line with the available benchmark data. 
  • Maintain focus on the performance of eFSM pupils and boys at KS3

Examples we have used the funding available for are:

  • Year 7 and 8 numeracy support for identified pupils.
  • Online literacy tool Lexia used with  our year 7 and 8 ALN pupils to support grammar and vocab skills.
  • Subscription to the accelerated reader programme for our year 7 and 8 pupils to  manage and monitor our pupils independent reading practice and set goals. 
  • Literacy and numeracy Learning Support Assistants in place.
  • Empathy lab training for staff  using reading to develop pupils real life empathy skills.
  • A range of literacy and numeracy resources to be used directly with pupils.

The projects that have been developed at Milford Haven School over the past 12 months, as an immediate response to the impact of Covid 19, were all achieved thanks to different pots of grant funding we successfully bid on. The projects we designed were aimed at reducing the negative impact on local families- many of whom were already experiencing hardship and struggling to thrive prior to the pandemic. Due to the diverse nature of our school catchment area, we unfortunately have many families that face ongoing challenges relating to extreme poverty and the impact that can have on all aspects of life. Early in the pandemic we could see that lockdown and the related necessary restrictions were exacerbating some existing and concerning dynamics within selected households, especially where families already required additional assistance prior to Covid 19, and we wanted to ensure that help reached those in need both quickly and meeting the true not perceived need of the community. 

There have been several projects run over the last 12 months to respond to the increased needs of our community due to the covid19 pandemic, the main two projects have been the MHCCC project and the MCA project, both detailed below.

Milford Community Action (MCA) 2021

Funded by CCCSG/ Pembrokeshire County Council

In January 2020 Milford Haven School were asked by the LA to design a pilot project proposal, aimed at further supporting some of the most vulnerable families in the Milford Haven catchment area through what was perhaps the most challenging and difficult stage of the pandemic so far.

The MCA project aimed to help up to 100 families across the cluster who were experiencing financial hardship, required additional support from local services, or whose children care for other family members. There was a variety of practical support given in an attempt to help families improve their circumstances both in the short term, and also guidance to help them build for a brighter future.

Resources shared included food packs, the provision of slow cookers, healthy cook books and live cookery sessions, educational activity packs for children, IT resources for pupils without access to digital devices, budgeting tools, and signposting to helpful organisations.

One of the unique aspects of this project is the widespread engagement across Milford Haven, with referrals being made by all schools and selected support services within the area, plus local businesses and groups pledging their support to the project enabling us to maximise our reach. Milford Haven Rotary Club were the first external local group to contribute to the project, committing to assisting with the weekly delivery of meal packs as well as  generously donating 30 slow cookers to be given to families in need. This collaborative approach is vital to enrich the experience of those families taking part, as well as strengthening community links. The initial feedback we received from the project draft plan was that people immediately saw the value in what we were trying to achieve, and many local residents were keen to be more involved in their community and wanted to help but didn’t know how or where to start. By offering a platform for local people to become more involved in their own community we have increased the capacity for those in a position to help to get involved. Although the project ultimately ended when funding ran out, the networking that has taken place will no doubt leave a lasting impact and sustainable footprint for future joint working within the school community. 

Headteacher of Milford Haven School, Ms Ceri-Ann Morris, said: “We are immensely proud to support this project and utilise the school facilities to help our community. Schools are at the heart of every community, they are the common link that ties everyone in the community together. Everyone knows someone connected to the school, and the work of Miss Baker (Milford Haven School) together with Dayle Gibby will be the driving force in getting resources out to the people most in need within our catchment area.”

Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education & Lifelong Learning, said: “Once again Milford Haven School and Milford Youth Matters are demonstrating the fantastic things that can be achieved when you work with others for the benefit of the local community. Gemma Baker and Dayle Gibby continue to find ways to seize opportunities as they arise and make great things happen in Milford – they are excellent ambassadors and role models for not just young people but everyone in our community.”


To date the MCA project has given out:

  • 45 slow cookers

  • 45 slow cooker cook books

  • 682  meal ingredient packs with recipe cards

  • 108 children’s breakfast packs

  • 67 pancake baking kits- plus links to online cooking demonstrations

  • 42 KS1 and KS2 sports activity packs- provided by Sport Pembrokeshire

  • 675  information packs on local services such as MIND (mental health charity) and the support they offer locally, PPS, PAVS, CAB, AFC/ Young Carers, Routes to Opportunity & MYM etc.

  • 87 Feminine Hygiene Packs

  • 31 Male Hygiene Packs

  • 6 laptops and 4 tablets (including sim cards and dongles for internet access where required)

  • 43 numeracy games for KS1 and KS2 

  • 10 dart board with numeracy challenge packs

  • 12 Literacy games

  • Over 300 children’s books

  • 15 family games

  • 75 Magnetic meal planners- to support meal planning and budgeting within the home

  • 75 shopping list pads- again to support with budgeting and meal planning

  • 80 glass milk bottles for the local farm shop milk dispenser

  • 80 £5 vouchers to be used at the local farm shop on milk and fresh produce

  • 24 stationery packs

  • 23 spring cleaning packs

  • 20 reusable water bottles for school pupils

  • 30 uniform packs, including polo shirts/ school jumpers etc


How have we shared our good practice?

  • The school has made online presentations to senior members of PCC and also at the local Headteachers’ cluster meeting

  • Presentations have been given virtually for local organisations and groups involved in / looking to become involved in the project, such as the Rotary Club, W.I and Inner Wheel

  • Press releases have been issued to promote the project and share this good practice of joint working with other local catchment areas

Milford Haven Community Covid Care (MHCCC) 2020

Funded by Big Lottery

Back in July of 2020 Gemma Baker (Milford Haven School) and Dayle Gibby (Milford Youth Matters), were successful in jointly securing a grant fund from the Big Lottery Community Fund. The project was named Milford Haven Community Covid Care (MHCCC), and sought to engage with the community of Milford Haven to support residents that had been negatively affected by Covid19 and the surrounding circumstances. We feel proud that this project was created as a prompt and effective response to the evident immediate increase in need across our school community. 

As you can see below, with the grant money received a huge amount of resources and support was injected into Milford Haven over the 5 week summer period:

*165 meal packs were distributed, along with 35 vegetable packs and supplements

*25 Healthy cookbooks, written by a local nutritionist Ellen Picton

*90 Boredom Buster activity packs for young people age 0-16

*52 children’s craft packs, and a large donation of resources to Havenhurst care home for residents

*Over 500 reading books 

*135 reusable sanitary pad packs, & 1344 organic environmentally friendly single use sanitary pads with recyclable packaging

Every Thursday over the summer holidays the team met at a local community centre to pack and distribute resources detailed above, alongside this free lunches were prepared and given out to young people who were able to collect from the centre (e.g. jacket potato with cheese and beans). 

Milford Haven School are proud to have set up the ‘MHCCC’ project with Milford Youth Matters in response to the pandemic, we feel it benefited our school community on a large scale during a time when need was truly great.