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The Pupil Premium was introduced by the government in 2011 to ‘narrow the gap’ in attainment between those students in receipt of free school meals and those who are not.

In the 2015 to 2016 financial year, schools will receive the following funding for each child registered as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years (the Department for Education use the term ‘Ever6’):

  • £1,320 for primary-aged pupils;
  • £935 for secondary-aged pupils;
  • £300 for pupils recorded as Ever6 Service Child or in receipt of a child pension from the Ministry of Defence;
  • Schools will also receive £1,900 for each looked-after pupil (Child in Care) who:
    • has been looked after for 1 day or more;
    • was adopted from care on or after 30 December 2005, or left care under:
      • a special guardianship order
      • a residence order

Independent Review

Culcheth High School commissioned a fully independent review of its Pupil Premium practice by Achievement for All which was completed in July 2014 as part of our ongoing commitment to improve outcomes for our Pupil Premium students. The report was very positive about our approach to Pupil Premium practice but also signalled areas in which we could hone our efforts to work more effectively.

The report concluded:

“There are many systems and processes in place to support PP funded pupils and these are having an effect in a number of areas. This is a school that, with a broad focus on barriers to learning [self-esteem, self-confidence, independence, participation in school life, behaviour and parental engagement], could examine, plan for and therefore address some of the issues that the most vulnerable learners face”

A future review is currently being planned. Mr P.H. Groves, as Assistant Headteacher i/c Pupil Premium strategy, is also working with other Warrington Local Authority leaders and schools to share best practice.

Culcheth High School Allocation 2014 - 2015

Over the period April 2014 – March 2015, Culcheth High School received approximately £130,000 of funding to support the education of circa 140 students in receipt of Pupil Premium.

During the academic year 2014-2015 this was allocated in a number of ways:

  • 1 to 1 and small group tuition in Maths for selected cohorts
  • 1 to 1 and small group tuition in English for selected cohorts
  • 1 to 1 and small group tuition in Science for selected cohorts
  • Staffing and provisions for a popular ‘Breakfast Club’ (open each morning in the ILC)
  • Additional staffing and pastoral mentoring support for Pupil Premium students- especially in KS4
  • Full time employment of a Pupil Premium Achievement Mentor- Miss Creighton
  • Appointment of a Pupil Premium Progress Leader- Mr Cushing
  • Appointment of a ‘Narrowing the Gap’ Pupil Premium lead in Maths- Miss Marshall
  • Appointment of a ‘Narrowing the Gap’ Pupil Premium lead in Science- Miss Lees
  • Professional, independent careers advice and guidance (including interviews and work placements) from Mrs Morris
  • Attendance mentors/pastoral support officers to liaise between school and home (and also to conduct home visits)- Mrs Bradley & Miss Bamber
  • Activities/visits/workshops in KS3 to bolster Higher Education aspirations
  • £125 Educational Voucher available to all Pupil Premium families- many families chose to spend this on educational visits and trips organised by the school
  • Educational research and consultancy to refine best practice
  • Musical lessons for identified Pupil Premium students coming up from primaries
  • Learning resource purchases (textbooks, course books and digital data/text) in core subjects


  • Ofsted’s ‘RAISE’ Inspection Dashboard (Unvalidated) analysis details a key strength of the school in 2015:
    • “From at least 5 out of every 6 starting points, the proportion of disadvantaged KS4 pupils making and exceeding progress in English & in mathematics was similar to that of other pupils nationally.” [N.B. other pupils in this sentence refers to the national average for non-Pupil Premium students- hence a positive comparison]
  • GCSE results 5 A*-C Including English & Maths in summer 2015 revealed a 48% gap in Pupil Premium students versus others achieving this benchmark. This was based on a relatively small cohort of 17 students. It should be noted that one student dropped off the Ever6 measure only weeks before the GCSE exams. Including this student (who had been supported by PP funds and interventions throughout Years 7 to 11) the gap stood at 44% based on our original cohort of 18 Pupil Premium students at the start of the academic year. This, nevertheless, was extremely disappointing and raised questions about the accuracy of Pupil Premium grade predictions, as the gap should have significantly narrowed. Much work is focused on this, this year.
  • Average attainment across Pupil Premium students ‘Best 8 GCSEs’ improved/closed slightly from an 89.2 point gap in 2014 to 86.9 points in 2015.
  • In 2014 Pupil Premium students making expected progress in English stood at 39% and for Maths this was 35%. In 2015 Pupil Premium students making expected progress increased significantly to 53% but Maths decreased to 24%. Maths is a clear focus this year and Miss Marshall has been appointed in the Maths department with a ‘Narrowing the Gap’ leadership responsibility.
  • English ‘C grade and above’ gaps improved (i.e. reduced) from a 41% gap in 2014 to a 29% gap in 2015.
  • Maths ‘C grade and above’ gaps improved (i.e. reduced) from a 44% gap in 2014 to a 41% gap in 2014.
  • Current Year 11 sat their Science Core GCSE at the end of Year 10. 67% of Pupil Premium students made expected progress compared to Non Pupil Premium 72%- a pleasingly small gap of only 5%. The better than expected progress gap in Science Core was also tiny- only 2%. Very encouraging results.
  • Attendance gaps continue to narrow and the 2015 gap stood at 3.2%. The Pupil Premium vs Non-Pupil Premium gap has therefore improved by approximately 4% over the last three years.
  • Pupil Premium Year 11 Parents’ Evening attendance in November was 74% compared to a 56% turnout last year (this was improved by more robust procedures in home-school liaison in the growing PP/NtG team)
  • All Pupil Premium students in September 2013 & 2014 were placed in education, employment or training. In September 2015, 94% of Pupil Premium students were placed in education, employment or training. In real terms, one Pupil Premium student regrettably remained ‘NEET’ despite our very best and well-documented efforts.
  • Exclusions of Pupil Premium students show an improving trend and continue to improve based on previous years.
  • There is evidence of educational gaps narrowing in our younger/current cohorts as previous intervention work begins to gather momentum and build incrementally. Current Year 11 predictions (based on more rigorously moderated data in light of last year’s results) indicates the 5 A*-C including English & Maths gap to fall below 20%, which would be better than national averages and a significant improvement. The PP cohort size currently is 25 in Year 11. In Year 10 the projected gap, albeit at the earliest possible stage of their KS4/GCSE journey, is projected to be 26.9%. This is based on a cohort of 34 students. Once again, an improvement, but still more work to do.
  • Current Year 11 making expected progress in English stands at three-quarters of the cohort: significantly above national average.
  • Current Year 11 making expected progress in Maths stands at two-thirds of the cohort: above national average.

Projected Allocation 2015 - 2016

This year Culcheth High School’s allocation is approximately £150,000 based on circa 175 students (numbers fluctuate as students join the school or leave the area); the proposed strategies for the budget are indicated above.

Next Steps

Culcheth High School will continue to support Pupil Premium students with a sharp focus on progress, attendance and attainment. We are hoping to further close and eradicate educational and attendance gaps between Pupil Premium and Non Pupil Premium students.

In September, Mr Cushing was appointed as Pupil Premium Progress Leader with a strategic overview of the entire cohort as a distinct ‘year group’. He has already begun several interventions to break down any barriers to learning. Miss Creighton will continue in her role, working closely with Mr Cushing, to mentor specific PP students and provide pastoral support for those children in educational need or who need academic support to meet their targets. A coaching-inspired ‘GROW’ model has been adopted for all mentoring meetings. As aforementioned, post holders in Science and Maths (Miss Lees and Miss Marshall respectively) have also been appointed, whose specific remit is to narrow the Pupil Premium gap as subject specialists. Ultimately, the team around Pupil Premium students has grown wider and stronger this academic year. All teaching staff also have access to ‘Continuing Professional Development’ material/courses: including those delivered by Mr Groves in house, to raise awareness of the issues surrounding PP progress and also to disseminate best pedagogical practice. Sessions delivered thus far have been well-attended and received by staff.

A Pupil Premium Parents’ Information Evening was held on 23rd September 2015 and proved, once again, to be very successful according to the parental surveys completed on the night. The Pupil Premium Educational Voucher has been secured at £125 for this academic year and will continue to directly support Pupil Premium families.

Mrs Bradley’s role as Attendance Officer has also been extended to provide intensive support to Pupil Premium students on an academic level as well as continuing her successful work in improving attendance. Miss Bamber has also joined the pastoral team and will work with many Pupil Premium students in order to increase engagement and maximise progress.

As part of the school’s commitment to eradicating any gaps in attainment and progress, all teachers at Culcheth High School are required to monitor closely the progress and achievement of any Pupil Premium student(s) in their class on a lesson-by-lesson and half-termly basis. Seating plans, mark sheets and lesson planning will cater for Pupil Premium students’ progression at a classroom level. Teachers also have access to refined ‘Planning for Progression’ data (which is centrally produced by the data team) to highlight all key groups within their GCSE classes. This measures progress of groups- especially PP students- over time and clearly flags up underachievement. Proposed actions are then planned/delivered at a classroom level. Heads of Department & Faculties also discuss the Narrowing the Gap agenda and interventions with their Senior Leadership Team link on a regular basis throughout the year: attention in meetings/action plans are regularly focused on predicted outcomes of PP versus Non-PP students in their respective subjects.

Extra tuition in English and Maths will continue with small group interventions for underachieving students, particularly at GCSE level, but also with defined cohorts of Years 7, 8 and 9 throughout the academic year. Regular interventions and support will also take place during morning registration slots as part of our English and Maths ‘Pupil Premium Progress’ sessions which are run by key members of the English and Mathematics departments. TUTE (an online learning company) and YIPIYAP (an aspirational tutoring provider) have also been commissioned using PP funds to provide Pupil Premium subject-specific student support, both in and out of core lessons.

Careers guidance (‘Independent Information Advice and Guidance’- IIAG) has also been commissioned for the forthcoming academic year with a keen Pupil Premium focus. Mrs Quicler and Mrs Morris will continue to lead work in this area and ensure Pupil Premium students follow rewarding pathways into Further Education, training, apprenticeships and employment. Our focus this year will be getting more of our Year 11 students onto Level 3 (‘A’ Level or equivalent) qualifications in Year 12. Mrs Quicler will also provide additional support to our current cohort of 45 Year 9 Pupil Premium students in making their all-important options choices this year. They will receive bespoke guidance to ensure they select the very best route for them as individuals.

There has been a strategic shift in the last three years to provide the capacity to enable pastoral and teaching staff to work more intensively with Pupil Premium students in order to unlock their vast potential. Signs are very promising but we are not complacent.

Our mantra this year is ‘Equity not Equality’ and all of our Pupil Premium work is driven by this simple but powerful philosophy.

Mr P.H. Groves (Assistant Headteacher- Pupil Premium)

9th December 2015

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