Pupil Premium Strategy Statement 2023-24

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This statement details our school’s use of pupil premium (and recovery premium for the 2023 to 2024 academic year) funding to help improve the attainment of our disadvantaged pupils.

It outlines our pupil premium strategy, how we intend to spend the funding in this academic year and the effect that last year’s spending of pupil premium had within our school.  The total budgeted for this year is £283,038.

School overview

School name

The Leigh UTC

Number of pupils in school


Proportion (%) of pupil premium eligible pupils


Academic year/years that our current pupil premium strategy plan covers (3 year plans are recommended)


Date this statement was published

September 2023

Date on which it will be reviewed

August 2024

Statement authorised by

Kevin Watson

Pupil premium lead

Gabriel Alamu

Governor / Trustee lead

Clive Barker

Funding Overview

Pupil premium funding allocation this academic year


Recovery premium funding allocation this academic year


Pupil premium funding carried forward from previous years (enter £0 if not applicable)


Total budget for this academic year


Statement of intent

Our intention is that all pupils, irrespective of their background or the challenges they face, make good or better progress at The Leigh UTC. All members of staff and the governing body accept responsibility for challenging ‘social disadvantage’ and are committed to meeting the academic, pastoral, and social needs of our pupil premium students.

Research by the Education Policy Institute reported that the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has stopped closing for the first time in a decade. It is therefore incumbent upon The Leigh UTC as a STEM specialist Academy to address this limitation and ensure the rapid development of disadvantaged pupils is at the forefront of our strategy.

A UCAS study in 2020 has shown that there has been an increase in the uptake of STEM based subjects, however there is still clearly underrepresentation of disadvantaged students going into a STEM focused further education. As a UTC we continue to address the UK’s demand for more STEM professionals in higher education and careers, addressing the skills shortage gap identified by the government in 2011 and again in 2020.

The number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds accepted into full time undergraduate STEM courses increased by 79% – from 7,265 in 2010 to 13,040 in 2020. Our intention is to ensure our disadvantaged students go on to further address this under representation of STEM focused professionals in further education and in STEM specialist industries.

For the 184 pupil premium pupils we serve, we continue to remove the tolerance of low expectations in all educational aspects of their lives, raise lifelong aspirations, and focus on removing barriers to learning, enabling our pupils to achieve holistically and move beyond ‘expected’ outcomes and become successful STEM professionals.

Our core value of professionalism at The Leigh UTC is also critical in developing the maturity and professional habits of our students. We invest heavily in the nurturing of professional standards, professional attitudes and professional behaviours explicitly. Our culture of professional habits addresses the often perceived helplessness, apathy and deprivation through value which can so often be linked to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Our work aims to address the academic, cultural, and personal barriers our pupils face and through careful planning, rigorous tracking and targeted support we provide all our children with the access and opportunities to enjoy a thriving holistic journey of self improvement and actualisation at the UTC.

We aim to:

  • Ensure that teachers and staff are responsible for leading academic achievement. Planning for accelerated academic and holistic progress through quality first teaching and high quality pastoral care is our priority.
  • Spotlight the importance of quality first teaching, ensuring that the day-to-day 2 teaching meets the needs of disadvantaged learners, instead of relying on interventions to compensate for learning that is less than effective.
  • Systematically focus on giving pupils clear, effective feedback about their work and personal development, enabling them to become reflective students that adopt a growth mindset, higher ambitions and a strong personal drive.
  • Develop professional positive habits that are beneficial to ensuring strong professional relationships in school and beyond.

In planning our pupil premium strategy, we have drawn on a range of evidence-based research and best practice from the Education Endowment Foundation’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit which found that the most important factor In narrowing the disadvantage gap is effective teaching day after day.

We also utilise a range of out of lesson interventions to address gaps in achievement and behaviour. The consequences of being ‘disadvantaged’ affect all pupils differently and as such our intervention aims to address this difference to bring about educational equity.

The key aim of our Pupil Premium funding plan is to remove all barriers to learning to end the cycle of disadvantaged underperformance and enable social mobility. We will do this through 4 key priorities:

  1. Improve the attainment, progress, attendance and behaviour of our disadvantaged students
  2. Improve the literacy and numeracy levels of our disadvantaged students
  3. Improve parental engagement and participation, ensuring that raising aspirations in encouraged and celebrated at home as well as in the academy
  4. Build the cultural capital of our disadvantaged pupils through rich extra-curricular and curricular learning.


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

Challenge 1

Recruiting the best teachers

The challenges of recruiting expert STEM skilled teachers in a shortage crisis is a challenge. To compound this, ensuring that we are able to retain the best performing existing teachers is also a challenge.

Challenge 2

Lower starting points

28% of our outgoing year 11 pupils were lower attaining pupils on entry and 13% were higher attaining pupils. The previous year only 4% were higher attaining pupils.

Our GL baseline data shows the following in regards to the Standard Age Score bands for our year 7 students in 2022.

In the ‘very low’ band for 3 out of 4 assessed areas (quantitative, spatial and non verbal reasoning) our students were 2% above the national average of 4%.

In the below average band for 3 out of 4 areas (quantitative, non verbal and verbal reasoning) our students were 3-5% above the national average of 7%.

Our students were below the national average of 4% in the very high band by 2-3 % in 3 out of 4 categories (spatial, quantitative, verbal). Also in the above average b and, they were once again below the national average of 7 by 2-4% in all 4 categories.

Challenge 3

Behaviours and habits

There are a disproportionate number of disadvantaged students represented in detentions and exclusions data. We believe the lack of routine and structure students experienced outside school during the pandemic continues to hinder their engagement and enjoyment of school for many of our disadvantaged students

Challenge 4

Cultural capital

Reduced cultural capital opportunities and experiences outside of the local areas. We observe a lack of cultural understanding and a lack of desire about the wider world beyond simplistic and/or familial places and knowledge. In addition post covid there have been less opportunities to engage in wider cultural experiences.

Challenge 5


We continue to experience some low attendance and high levels of persistent absence with our disadvantaged students. Our attendance for disadvantaged students is at 88% in comparison to our non disadvantaged which sits at 93%. In addition the persistent absence percentage for our disadvantaged is 22.37% in comparison to that of our non disadvantaged persistent absence which sits at 22.11 %.

Challenge 6

Family engagement

We experience low family engagement/support with a high number of our disadvantaged families. The variance in aspirations and values culture often impedes the engagement from families with our disadvantaged pupils. In 2022 43% of our year 10 disadvantaged families’ failed to attend their child’s post year 10 mock parent evening before they moved into year 11.

Intended Outcomes

This explains the outcomes we are aiming for by the end of our current strategy plan, and how we will measure whether they have been achieved.

Intended outcome

Success criteria

Improve disadvantaged student progress and attainment across the curriculum

  • Reduce the performance gap between pupil premium and non pupil premium in all subject areas so that there is no gap. The current progress gap is -0.49.
  • 70% of PP pupils achieve standard pass in English and Maths, 50% to achieve a strong pass in English and Maths. The same is expected in science
  • All disadvantaged pupils in year 9 have 1:1 with Middle and Senior Leaders in year 9 before choosing their options
  • NEET figures (7%) remain higher than the national average of 4.5% for students leaving year 11.
  • The curriculum is adapted successfully where low levels of literacy or numeracy are present and student are taught to read to ensure curriculum is accessible
  • Recruitment and retention of high performing teachers to continue the developments of teaching and curriculum design
  • In-class support to accelerate progress for all disadvantaged students

Cultivate opportunities for enhancing ‘cultural capital’ through enrichment and experiences

  • All disadvantaged pupil to experience a minimum of 1 academic & 1 cultural experience a year
  • Increase number percentage of PP students to engage with extra curricular clubs or enrichment learning activities
  • An enriched experiential curriculum with rich cultural and global narratives, examples and vantage points explicitly taught through the IB attributes

Raise literacy and numeracy levels/engagement so that pupils can successfully access the curriculum

  • Increase the percentage of KS 3&4 disadvantaged pupils reading at or above their chronological reading age.
  • NGRT, baseline and interventions to show improved knowledge and skills among disadvantaged pupils closing the gap between them and their non-disadvantaged peers.

Improve the wellbeing and learning habits of disadvantaged students.

  • Pupil voice and PASS score indicate, improved wellbeing amongst PP students
  • 121 pastoral welfare check-ins termly for all disadvantaged students
  • Reduce the amount of disadvantaged students receiving fixed term exclusion. Baseline data shows of the suspension in 2022-23 52% were disadvantaged students.

Improve attendance and punctuality, while decreasing persistent absence for disadvantaged students

  • Reduce the attendance gap that exists between disadvantages(88%) and non-disadvantaged(93%) students in the academy. Currently 5%.
  • Reduce persistent absence for disadvantaged students (43%) by 14% to close the gap between non disadvantaged students (20%)
  • Increased familial engagement of PP students demonstrated through home visits and improved attendance of disadvantaged students.

Activity in this academic year

This details how we intend to spend our pupil premium (and recovery premium funding) this academic year to address the challenges listed above.

Teaching (for example, CPD, recruitment and retention)

Budgeted cost: £120,000

Professional learning focuses on improving the quality of teaching, focusing on target questioning, challenge and stretch and effective pedagogical techniques

Evidence that supports this approach

‘Good teaching is the most important lever schools have to improve outcomes for Disadvantaged pupils’ EEF 2019.

Studies suggest that the quality of teaching will have a disproportionate impact on disadvantaged pupils.

Challenge number(s) addressed

1 and 2

Professional development training on checking knowledge and providing effective feedback to support disadvantaged pupils in lessons

Modelling and Live feedback training for teachers

Evidence that supports this approach

EEF Report: A schools Guide to Implementation – key strand: support staff and monitor progress.

Sutton Trust research states that the difference between the effect of poor teaching and that of highly effective teaching is just under half a year’s extra progress for most pupils. 

Appropriate and timely CPD for all staff will raise the profile of disadvantaged pupils and ensure that effective teaching strategies are used in lessons to support them. 

The development of effective feedback is an EEF suggested strategy for maximum impact (very high impact for very low cost, based on extensive evidence: impact +6). 5+ additional months progress over the course of the academic year in secondary schools.

Challenge number(s) addressed

1 and 2

Assign a post holder to drive the work around disadvantaged pupils, across all year groups.

Provide support and plan timely interventions

Track interventions and review effectiveness of strategy

Evidence that supports this approach

EEF Report: A schools Guide to Implementation – key strand: support staff and monitor progress + key strand: identify and cultivate leaders of implementation.

Regular quality assurance (through lesson walks, book scrutiny and learning conversations) ensures that the delivery of Quality First Teaching that meets the needs of disadvantaged pupils

EEF Report: A schools Guide to Implementation – key strand: support staff and monitor progress.

Challenge number(s) addressed

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Homework club is used to support student failing or struggling to complete homework at home

Evidence that supports this approach

EEF report- Teaching and learning toolkit

Challenge number(s) addressed

1 and 2

Recruitment of expert and specialist teacher with strong domain specific knowledge and pedagogical skill

Evidence that supports this approach

EEF & NAO- using the premium to tackle the recruitment and retention challenge – and evaluating new approaches as we innovate – must make sense at a time when it is schools’ biggest worry.

Challenge number(s) addressed

1 and 2

Targeted academic support (for example, tutoring, one-to-one support structured interventions)

Budgeted cost: £60,440

Numeracy and literacy intervention to close gaps identified through bespoke morning intervention

Evidence that supports this approach

EFF Toolkit: The average impact of the adoption of phonics approaches is about an additional five months’ progress over the course of a year.

Studies in England have shown that pupils eligible for free school meals typically receive similar or slightly greater benefit from phonics interventions and approaches.

Challenge number(s) addressed


Use of external tuition, study and learning agencies to support examination groups:

Small group subject intervention & Exam preparation and revision & Study habits preparation and support

Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

1 and 2

Acquiring Learning Mentors in subjects areas to support low attaining pupils and pupils making limited progress

Evidence that supports this approach

Tuition targeted at specific needs and knowledge gaps can be an effective method to support low attaining pupils or those falling behind, both one-to-one: 

One to one tuition | EEF (educationendowmentfoundation.org. uk) 

And in small groups: Small group tuition | Toolkit Strand | Education Endowment Foundation | EEF

Challenge number(s) addressed

1 and 2

Wider strategies (for example, related to attendance, behaviour, wellbeing)

Budgeted cost: £102,598

Attendance intervention provided by the pastoral team.

Regular contact with parents to support attendance.

Rewards and recognition to encourage improved attendance.

Rewards and celebration

Evidence that supports this approach

Attendance directly relates to academic attainment. Supporting the attainment of Disadvantaged pupils (Nov 2015) clearly states that children must be in school before they can access their learning.

DfE research published in 2016 (Absence and Attainment at Key Stages 2 and 4) found that:

  • The higher the overall absence rate across the lower the likely level of attainment at the end of KS4.
  • Pupils cannot access the range of other support available if they do not attend school regularly.

EEF Report: A schools Guide to Implementation – key strand: support staff and monitor progress + key strand: identify and cultivate leaders of implementation.

EEF Toolkit; parental and community involvement programmes are associated with improvements in school ethos or discipline.


Challenge number(s) addressed

5 and 6

Support the SEMH of vulnerable disadvantaged pupils through counselling, mentoring and additional interventions


Wellbeing support

Behaviour support

Evidence that supports this approach

EEF Toolkit: Alongside academic outcomes, SEL interventions have an identifiable and valuable impact on attitudes to learning and social relationships in school. Interventions which focus on improving social interaction tend to be more successful (6+ months).

Challenge number(s) addressed

3 and 6

Key staff to deliver/facilitate behavioural and emotional support for disadvantaged students

Including but not limited to: 121 mentoring, external visiting counsellor, use of educational psychologist, speech and language therapist, ELSA programme

Evidence that supports this approach

According to figures from the Department for Education, pupils who receive Free School Meals are more likely to receive a permanent or fixed period exclusion compared to those who do not.

The most common reason for exclusion is persistent disruptive behaviour.

Behaviour interventions | EEF

Challenge number(s) addressed

3 and 5

Track and monitor engagement from home.

Family engagement and participation through parents evening

Evidence that supports this approach

Research by the EEF shows that parental engagement has a moderate impact on pupil progress.

Ensuring an understanding of how to support children with independent learning at home.

Challenge number(s) addressed

3, 5 and 6

Provide in school support or resources (books stationery, uniform etc.) including revision guides for core subjects

Evidence that supports this approach

Ensure disadvantaged pupils have access to the necessary resources for equitable access to the curriculum


Challenge number(s) addressed

1, 3 and 5

Enrichment activities in school and out of school (guest speakers, mentoring etc)

Evidence that supports this approach

Pupils from academically weaker schools reported stronger programme related gains. Implications for enhancing and evaluating the effect of science-enrichment programs on pupils’ science attitudes. 2005 Wiley

Challenge number(s) addressed

1, 2, 4 and 5

Review of activity from the last academic year

This details the impact that our pupil premium activity had on pupils in the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

We have been successful in the development of our curriculum. As an IB school we have been developing the materials of our curriculum to ensure better access to the curriculum for our most disadvantaged students. The quality of professional development is stronger and more bespoke to the individual needs of our teachers. This has translated into better teaching and support for our most disadvantaged students at key stage 3. The average overall performance of disadvantaged students in key stage has improved from a median score of 2.10 in module 4 to an improved score of 2.78 in module 6, an improvement in overall performance of over half a grade. However, there is still more work to do to ensure the gap between non disadvantaged students at the academy further reduces.

We successfully ensured all disadvantaged students met with a senior leader to ensure they selected the right course for their national examinations in 2 years.

We continue to work to reduce the percentage of NEET students (7%) leaving year 11. Closing the 2.5% gap between our students with that of the national average remains a priority.

Reading and numeracy interventions with our disadvantaged students improved the performance in Maths but not English in key stage 3. Maths improved by 0.34 (average) in the performance of disadvantaged students from module 3 to module 6. However, this was not the case with English as we saw an underperformance of -0.29 (average). There is still a gap between disadvantaged and non disadvantaged students and this is an area we continue to focus on.

The overall attendance of disadvantaged pupils at the UTC is 88%. This is in line with the national average. There was a 3% increase in persistent absences from the previous year with our disadvantaged students although the national gap has widened further.

A key action in our approach was to better track, monitor and evaluate the progress of disadvantaged pupils across the school, this has been successful so far and continues to be an area of improvement.

We piloted a pastoral preventative support strategy last year with our disadvantaged students in key stage 3. The data shows this was effective in supporting the behaviour and social emotion and mental health (SEMH) of students thereby reducing the number of disadvantaged students receiving a fixed term exclusions from 75 in 21-22 to 47 in 22-23. We will initiate this strategy moving forward to ensure improved well being and reduced fixed term exclusion in key stage 4.