2014 Secondary National Winner - Millfield Science & Performing Arts College 2014

1. Introduction

Millfield is a smaller than average sized secondary school of 800 students. The proportion of students known to be eligible for the pupil premium is above average and their proportion of students of minority ethnic heritage is lower than average. The ever 6 PP figure is 30%. In 2013, 73% of disadvantaged pupils achieved at least 5+ A*-C GCSEs (or equivalent) including English and maths GCSEs compared to 76% of other pupils.

In 2014 disadvantaged students out performed more disadvantaged students by a figure of about 2% for 5 A* - C EN/MA, English progress and Maths progress. For example expected progress for disadvantaged was 96%, for none disadvantaged was 92%. “The school makes good use of pupil premium funding to provide additional support to eligible students. All teachers have a high awareness of target groups, so students’ additional needs are similarly well attended to in lessons. As a result, the gap between these students’ achievements and that of their peers is narrower than it is nationally." Ofsted Inspection Report October 2012.

“We see no barriers to achievement; we accept no excuses for failure” S M Bullen (head teacher Millfield Science and Performing Arts College).

2. What did they do?

Millfield College has 4 key strategies when using the pupil premium:

  1. Big investment in new Maths and English Teachers to create smaller English and Maths classes – this has been particularly successful in Millfield.
  2. Use of Pupil Premium co-ordinators in core subjects. The school has 3 members of staff tasked with monitoring and intervening for Pupil Premium students.
  3. Work on Wednesday’ day every Wednesday in Year 11. Some Students on target go out to local primaries or businesses and complete a day’s work experience in an area of personal choice. Students not on target stay in school to do extra Maths and English with their class teachers.
  4. Team Millfield a team of staff, parents and students who work together providing additional pastoral staffing to work on one to one mentoring and support with a focus on students who are eligible for the pupil premium.

The school has restructured staff within school to add an additional emphasis on Student Support Services as a central support mechanism for all students. They have made available considerable additional targeted time from their teaching assistants to run catch up and support sessions, for example in English, Maths, Homework Club and Breakfast Clubs for disadvantaged students.

The College’s Pupil Premium Strategy Group meets half termly to monitor the progress of pupils who attract the pupil premium. The pupil premium co-ordinators provide termly reports in English, maths and science to the Group.

3. What next?

The school is part of an organised network of other schools that learn from each other and share good practice. They have successfully bid for £10,000 (local source) to support a project of 5 local schools looking at the impact of pupil premium funding. Millfield has also arranged a pupil premium training day in November to share good practice with other local schools. 34 colleagues attended.

In addition, the Headteacher has delivered bespoke sessions on PP to Cumbria Headteacher’s, Stockport Headteacher’s and North-West Manchester Headteacher’s. He is also speaking briefly at the National PP Conference in London in February.