The challenge | The school had approximately 15% of students classified as disadvantaged, and they have generally made less progress than their peers.

The method

Year 1: Disadvantaged students were interviewed twice a year and interventions were put in place to minimise barriers to learning. A tracking and monitoring system was introduced. A Pupil Premium Administrator was hired to facilitate this, and as a contact point for pupils and parents. A partnership was developed with an external provider (Learning Performance) to help deliver this. The project was shared with another school, and both schools moved from RI to Good in Ofsted assessments.

Year 2: The range of activities included equipment support, stress management and well-being support, mentoring, transport support and study skills workshops. To avoid repetition between years, a five year plan of support was developed. Work with parents and carers was improved, and included a series of parental workshops. It was found that contacting them by phone in advance of the sessions increased attendance significantly.

Year 3: Intervention was reviewed to ensure it was fit for purpose. The interview process was now embedded in the school and a range of impact proven interventions, activities and support was in place for each student. To raise the aspirations of disadvantaged students, talks were arranged with a local university and tours of our Sixth Form complex were set up.

THE IMPACT | The interview process showed that around 50% of disadvantaged students had barriers to learning that the school could support them with. Attendance at events for the parents of disadvantaged students improved by around 38%. There is now a clear system in place to support students and monitor the success of this. This has been shared with two local schools who now use a similar system. Student feedback suggests that we are meeting their needs in most cases and reducing their barriers to learning.

Contact | Matthew Pinder