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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 2018/19, 12.5% of our cohort are eligible for Pupil Premium. The funding formula nationally has increased in respect of Children Looked After (CLA) and students adopted from care and so we expect to receive funds in the region of £109,000.

This does not include students identified as Pupil Premium students in the Sixth Form, as no 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, 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 have 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 2018/19 we will use our additional Pupil Premium funding to continue to provide a range of 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.

We will continue to involve parents in helping us make decisions on how we spend the funding to target specific support for eligible students as historically this has proved to be successful in providing a variety of resources and opportunities for the Pupil Premium cohort.

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 2017/18*


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









Attainment 8 score





Progress 8 average





* Based on data published by the Department for Education in January 2019

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.

We are very proud to see that the latest Secondary Inspection Data Summary Report (January 2019) states that Progress 8 at Hitchin Girls’ School was in the top quintile (20%) for at least two years for disadvantaged pupils.

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.  Bridging the gap between students not eligible for Pupil Premium in school and our disadvantaged students 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 2017-2018, the overall absence rate for Hitchin Girls’ School Ever 6 FSM students was 7.3% (7.8% nationally), compared to 4.0% (4.4% nationally) for non Ever 6 FSM students. Attendance continues to be an area which we are monitoring closely and investing in intervention and support as appropriate.