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Pupil Premium

What is the Pupil Premium?

The Government believes that the Pupil Premium Grant, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage, reaches the pupils who need it most.

The Pupil Premium Grant was introduced in April 2011 and as of 2012, is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for free school meals at any point in the last six years.  This funding has since been extended to also include support for students who are Children Looked After (CLA) and also students adopted from care.  These students, together with those who have received free school meals in the last 6 years, are collectively referred to as ‘disadvantaged students’.

Pupil Premium at Hitchin Girls’ School

For the academic year 2013/14, 8.2 % of our cohort were eligible for the Pupil Premium; this is compared to the national average of 28.2%. There was an increase to the funding allocated to Pupil Premium students and we received £87750.

For the academic year 2014/15, 9.8% of our cohort were eligible for the Pupil Premium.  There was an increase in the amount of funding made available by the Government for Pupil Premium in 2014/15 and as a result we were allocated £95570.

For the academic year 2015/16, 15.0% of the cohort were eligible for the Pupil Premium.  Funding arrangements remained the same during this academic year and we received £102655.

For the academic year, 2016/17, 15.6% of our cohort were eligible for Pupil Premium. Funding arrangements remained the same during this academic year and so we received funds in the region of £115000.

For the academic year, 2017/18, 14.7% of our cohort are eligible for Pupil Premium. Again, there has been no change to the funding formula nationally and so we expect to receive funds in the region of £115,000. 

This does not include students identified as “disadvantaged” in the sixth form, as no additional funding is received at this stage of their education.  However, as a school, we endeavour to monitor the individual needs of these students and add interventions when required.

How is the additional funding used?

When the school was initially in receipt of this funding, in 2011/12, the allocation was used primarily to contribute to the staffing costs of an additional Learning Support Assistant (LSA).  Chiefly, this allowed the school to provide additional support in lessons for FSM and Children Looked After (CLA) students, and other vulnerable students in danger of underachieving, across both KS3 and KS4.

Since then, in addition to contributing to the staffing costs of an LSA, we used our additional Pupil Premium funding to provide a variety of intervention strategies to support targeted FSM and CLA students.  Literacy and numeracy development was at the heart of our strategy for the effective deployment of the Pupil Premium funding.

Students have had the opportunity to benefit from our provision of additional interventions / opportunities such as:

  • One to one tuition in English and Maths
  • Learning & Pastoral mentors
  • EAL (English as an Additional Language) support
  • LSA support
  • Counselling
  • Access to attendance support
  • Providing revision resources
  • Holiday revision sessions
  • Literacy and Numeracy initiatives, including a Year 11 pre-examination residential revision course
  • Curriculum enrichment activities
  • Specific learning resources for individuals
  • Greater out of lesson access to ICT facilities
  • Delivery of the Penn Resilience programme for Year 7 students

For 2017/18 we will use our additional Pupil Premium funding to continue to provide these intervention strategies to disadvantaged students and develop further opportunities to enhance provision, not just in terms of literacy and numeracy but across the wider curriculum.

During 2014/15, in addition to continuing to provide these interventions and opportunities, we developed a mechanism for parents to be involved with helping us make decisions on how we spend the funding to target specific support for each eligible student. This proved to be successful in providing a variety of resources and opportunities for the Pupil Premium cohort and we therefore chose to continue with this initiative, with the aim of encouraging greater engagement with this process. The success of this initiative continues to grow year on year.

We are committed to continuing with this initiative for the coming academic year.  As our range of intervention and support for the Pupil Premium cohort has widened we have created a leadership position in the school to ensure the funding is used as effectively as possible.

It is our aim that through the combination of targeted interventions, holistic Teaching and Learning initiatives/provision and parent/carer identified support, we can ensure that Hitchin Girls’ School makes the very best use of the Pupil Premium funding to advance, enrich and support the learning of all of our ‘disadvantaged’ students.  Our strategic plan for the use of the Pupil Premium Grant is available here.

How well do disadvantaged students achieve at Hitchin Girls School?

Current Attainment and Progress at KS4 2016/17


Pupils eligible for PP (HGS)

Pupils not eligible for PP (HGS average for ‘other’ students)

Nationally- All students

Nationally - Pupils not eligible for PP (national average for ‘other’ students)










% achieving English & Maths









% achieving English





51/52% (Lang/Lit)







% achieving Maths









Attainment 8 score





Attainment 8 Maths Element





Attainment 8 English Element





Progress 8 average





Progress 8 Maths Element





Progress 8 English Element





When reviewing performance data it is important that we benchmark the progress of disadvantaged students against the national results for non-disadvantaged students to ensure that standards and expectations are aspirational.

From the above table, we see that in terms of overall Attainment 8 and also in Maths and English, our disadvantaged students are slightly below the national average for students not in receipt of the pupil premium grant.  However, when compared to the results for all students nationally, our attainment is largely in line with national percentages or above, as seen in English.

Progress 8

In terms of Progress 8 we can see that our ‘disadvantaged’ students perform significantly better than ‘all’ students nationally overall and better than the national figures for pupils not eligible for PP.

We are very pleased with the progress made by our Pupil Premium students last year (an average progress 8 result of 0.5), which showed a significant improvement from 2015-16 (an average progress 8 result of 0.25).

Likewise, the progress made by our disadvantaged students is better than all students and students other than pupil premium nationally in Maths and significantly better in English.

This demonstrates that “disadvantaged students” at Hitchin Girls’ School make excellent progress.

Our aim for the forthcoming year, is to continue to ensure that our ‘disadvantaged’ cohort performs at least as well as the national figures for ‘non-disadvantaged’ students, both in terms of progress and attainment. 

However, the gap between students not eligible for Pupil Premium in school and our disadvantaged students remains.  Reducing this gap within school is central to our initiatives and strategies for disadvantaged students.

We continue to use termly data captures to monitor both attainment and progress of all students to ensure that our interventions can be tailored to respond to where the need is evident.  This is also supported by learning conversations with tutors and through one to one mentoring in Year 11, in order to personalise the interventions necessary for each student.


In the year 2016-17, the overall attendance for non-FSM students was 95.77%, with the overall attendance for FSM students being 93.27%, resulting in a gap of 2.5% (3.7% in 2015-16).

Also in 2016-17, the gap between FSM and whole school absences was 2.53% (4.2% for non FSM students and 6.73% for FSM students).  In 2015-16, this gap was 3.2%, demonstrating that the monitoring and intervention strategies that support students in areas of school attendance are effective and having an impact on attendance.