What is Pupil Premium?

Since 2011, the Pupil Premium has been the Government’s principal strategy to help schools improve the learning and opportunities of disadvantaged pupils, reducing the attainment gap and in doing so, reduce educational inequality.

Pupil Premium includes children who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the past 6 years (the Ever 6 measure) and children who have left the care system through adoption, residence orders or special guardianship orders. Additionally, the Service Premium grant is for pupils who have a parent serving in the armed services

Pupil Premium is £955 per FSM Ever 6 secondary pupil and £2,345 for Children Looked After and Post CLA (adopted). The Service Premium is £310 per pupil.

The Department for Education has recently published a document on the Pupil Premium for 2021/22 and the conditions of the grant which is available to view here

Why is there a Pupil Premium?

Students who have been eligible for Free School Meals at any point in their school career have consistently lower educational attainment than those who have never been eligible. In 2009-10 GCSE statistics showed that around a third of students who have been on Free School Meals in the previous six years achieved five or more A*- C grades, compared to more than two-thirds of their fellow students.

How is the impact of the spending of the Pupil Premium measured?

Our usual cycle of data collection and the monitoring and tracking of the cohort’s attainment is used to inform student progress and enable the early identification of need, support and appropriate intervention for all year groups.

Statement of Intent

The Whitehaven Academy is committed to ensuring that all children, irrespective of background, achieve their full potential socially and academically.

We aim for our Pupil Premium students to:

  • Consistently achieve academic outcomes above the national average when compared to the national proxy for Pupil Premium students.
  • Achieve well and for there to be no gap within the Academy in academic outcomes between the achievements of Pupil Premium students and non-Pupil Premium students.
  • Experience a Positive Learning Culture where all learners are valued, their well-being is supported and learning is celebrated
  • To be given and take advantage of a rich cultural, creative and inspiring opportunities within and beyond the classroom, raising standards and inspiring them.

We have identified the barriers to educational success within our community, all of which are prominent barriers for the majority of Pupil Premium students. Pupil Premium funding is used to support any activity that will directly address these barriers. Our philosophy and ethos, underpinning our holistic approach, guides all of our work with our students. The key areas our strategy targets are teaching and learning, targeted support including tutoring and pastoral support, and support with mental health and resilience and are outlined in more detail below.


This details the key challenges to achievement that we have identified among our disadvantaged pupils.


Challenge number 

Detail of challenge  


The progress and attainment of disadvantaged students has also been behind that of other groups, with students in this group not reaching the top grades at GCSE. 


Attendance of Disadvantaged students is lower than non-disadvantaged students. This affects progress and outcomes at both KS3 and KS4. 


Many disadvantaged students lack the oracy skills required to develop as learners and to prepare themselves for future careers. 


Widened gaps in knowledge and understanding for some disadvantaged students 


Literacy weaknesses and subsequent inability to access resources and work independently *  (key area added in 2022 revision) 


Specific gaps in English and maths 


Mental health issues compounded by the pandemic.