Pupil Premium


We aim to advocate the inclusion of students who are deemed to be at a disadvantage through:

At Duchess’s we implement a range of strategies and initiatives to overcome hurdles to ensure that pupil premium is no longer a barrier to academic achievement, high expectations and aspirations. Regular data collections covering academic achievement and assessment of attitudes to learning can then form effective interventions which are varied and specific to the needs of the student/group. Students are supported academically and pastorally to challenge barriers to learning and offer appropriate support. Examples of strategies that we have used include: focusing on maths and English interventions to raise attainment for yr11 students. Pastoral interventions where specific groups of students have been identified for mentoring to improve behaviour, attendance, attitudes to learning, raise aspirations etc. For those students who struggle to access a traditional curriculum, personalised timetables have been implemented both internally and through external providers.

Quality first teaching focuses on raising quality and standards through improving engagement in learning and formative assessment. Whole staff training has focused on metacognition,adaptive teaching, building relationships, understanding behaviours and raising awareness for Pupil Premium students.

We work hard towards our goal of diminishing the achievement gap and continue to consider new opportunities to enhance the experiences of our Pupil Premium students.

Funding and Support

What is Pupil Premium funding?

Pupil Premium is funding allocated to schools based on the number of Free Schools Meals, Looked After Children, Post Looked After Children and Forces students that attend the school. For Free School Meals it also includes those students who have been on the FSM list at any point in the previous six years. Secondary Schools receive £1035 per FSM/E6 students, £335 per Services student and £2530 per post looked after and for children who are looked after by the local authority they receive the funding of £2530 directly to them and determine how much will be redirected to school.  For example Northumberland Virtual School retains £1035 of every eligible pupil’s grant to be used to promote the educational achievement of all children who are looked after in the region.

Who is Eligible for Pupil Premium?

Students in Years 7 to 11 who are:-

Free School Meals

Free School Meals in the last 6 years

Looked After Children

Post Looked After Children - children previously looked after by a local authority e.g. adopted from care, special guardianship order.

Services Children for whom one of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces and Children who have been registered on any school census in the last six years.

PP grant can be used to support other pupils with identified needs, such as pupils who have or have had a social worker, or pupils who act as a carer. It can also be used for whole class approaches, for example high-quality teaching, which will also benefit non-disadvantaged pupils.

How many pupils at Duchess’s Community High School are eligible for the Pupil Premium?

Currently 325 of students at Duchess’s Community High School are eligible for the Pupil Premium.

Do you think your child might be eligible for Pupil Premium Funding?

The Department of Education has suggested that at least 14% of students eligible for FSM are not claiming them. It is very important that parents let us know if they are in receipt of any of the following types of benefits, as we will not be automatically informed by the local government: Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

You can apply either by:

What is the current funding for Pupil Premium Pupils at DCHS?

In the financial year 2023/24 the level of funding (including Services Premium) is estimated to be £236,840 plus £27,916 recovery premium.

Pupil Premium Strategy Statement

Please follow this link to view the Pupil Premium Strategy Statement for 2022-2025.

As the size of the FSM cohort is small the attainment and progress percentages can vary substantially if a small number of FSM students have other issues for example linked to attendance or Special Needs. It is therefore important for us to not only work on the classroom experience for these students but also give consideration to how we raise aspirations and expectations through working with parents, raising attendance, involvement of outside agencies / community groups etc.

In 2023/24 we will continue to make progress with many of these commitments as well as continuing to develop new strategies to meet the ever changing needs of our students. Ensuring development and progress from the individual child’s starting point. The above link also contains our focus areas and action points for this year.