School will be open for all students as normal on Monday 20 May, following our closure today.

 Year 12 – Applications open for September 2024 entry >>

Staff vacancies >>

School facilities available for hire >>


Pupil Premium

The Academy

Pupil Premium

The Pupil Premium is additional government funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap between them and their peers.

Links to Pupil Premium policy and reports will be published here when they are available.

Key principles

Pupil Premium funding is used to support a raft of interventions specifically targeted at those students who are eligible for this funding in the Academy.

The key principles of the use of our Pupil Premium funding are addressing individual needs and equality of opportunity where there are difficult circumstances and providing strong additional academic support for our Pupil Premium students with the allocated funding.

Pupil Premium is an identified and monitored attribute for students at a whole school and departmental level. All teaching staff will be aware of these students within their classes and are asked to be mindful of when and where support needs to be drawn from the funding to provide equality of opportunity.

Key barriers

Key barriers to students’ attainment are:

  • Greater numbers of safeguarding issues.
  • Poverty reducing students’ participation in extracurricular activities and trips.
  • Lack of basic equipment that can affect the quality of outputs in classwork and homework.
  • Low home aspirations or areas where no English is spoken in the home.
  • Higher ability students’ confidence and motivation to achieve the top grades.

Interventions may include but not be limited to:

  • Raising the academic standards of More Able Pupil Premium students.
  • Improving basic academic skills including literacy, a love of reading and numeracy.
  • Adding specific mentoring to Pupil Premium students.
  • Increasing students’ cultural capital and inquisitiveness.
  • Providing strong role models.
  • A series of raising aspiration interventions.
  • Experience of Post-16 options and a wide variety of career pathways.

Addressing individual needs

Educational support staff are important in closing the gap for Pupil Premium students. Mentoring, Safeguarding and Behaviour specialists may be deployed to deal with issues within students’ lives, including from the Local Authority and other agencies. We believe that until students are safely cared for there will be restrictions to their academic progress.

The Academy has created an intervention framework to aid students who are falling behind in their studies. This may take place as after school interventions or as subject withdrawals. Here students are assessed and given one-to-one or small group provision with a structured plan to secure a more confident return into mainstream lessons within the Academy.

Breakfast is provided free of charge and Pupil Premium funding has been used to provide food vouchers and parcels to those in receipt of Free School Meals during the periods of lockdown and certain school holidays.

From a safeguarding perspective, to help solve students’ complex needs, the Academy has five members of staff trained to Designated Safeguarding Lead level and a service level agreement with a highly regarded Safeguarding Provider with a focus on Pupil Premium students.

The Academy also utilises many external agencies for bespoke support of students, including but not limited to:

  • Sandwell iTrust
  • Every Child Needs a Mentor
  • Elevate the Youth
  • Breaking Silence
  • Murray Hall counselling
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Exam stress groups with education psychologist
  • School Health Nurse drop in
  • Black Country Women’s Aid
  • Kooth online counselling
  • Sandwell Young Carers
  • Birmingham Young Carers
  • Targeted Youth Support
  • Barnardos Family Support
  • The CSE team (based in Sandwell Children’s Services)
  • Brook
  • Barnardos SPACE (Birmingham CSE team)
  • ART in Dudley for victims of CSE
  • Family Support Team (part of Birmingham Children’s Services)
  • Krunch (mentoring and girls’ group)
  • Brushstrokes
  • Food Banks
  • ASIRT (advice and support for asylum seeker families)
    St Chad’s Sanctuary (for refugees and asylum seekers)
  • RESTORE (befriending service for asylum seeker families)
  • Smethwick Asian Families Support Service
  • Sandwell PREVENT team
  • Local PCSOs

Equality of opportunity

A large portion of the funding goes to supporting students’ equality of opportunity. This includes, but is not exclusive to, free resources such as: revision guides, stationery, uniform support, peripatetic music tuition, trips and after school activities with no charge.

To improve participation rates of Pupil Premium students in extracurricular activity, opportunities are offered firstly to Pupil Premium students. We also look at students not engaging in extracurricular activities and attempt to get them involved either by altering times when they take place or looking to meet student demand of new opportunities.

Our pastoral systems are set up to engage with those ‘Hard to Reach Families’ to ensure that when there are missed engagements e.g. parents’ evenings or information evenings, additional effort is put in to reach those families to ensure they are involved in students’ education. We are part of the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust-based Passport to Success Programme which provides an extra source of contact and support for families, alongside a range of learning and enrichment opportunities.

Raising attainment

Raising Attainment involves using specific staff to work with Pupil Premium students to improve their grades.

  • One-to-one and small group personalised interventions.
  • Catch up classes in Years 7.
  • Homework clubs after the Academy day.
  • Additional specific homework tasks that target gaps in learning.

Measuring impact

Impact is measured through a cohort analysis of each subject and year group at each assessment point. The attainment and progress of Pupil Premium students is examined and compared with those who are not Pupil Premium. This is done academically and pastorally as well as using the PASS attitudinal survey.

A senior member of staff is detailed to examine this data and present to the senior team and Standards and Performance Committee on recommendations for further Pupil Premium intervention.

Review of strategy

The current date of the Pupil Premium Strategy Review is July 2024.