Skip to content ↓

Our Wessex family of schools

Pupil Premium

At The Purbeck School, we have high expectations of ALL students. We draw on research evidence, such as the Education Endowment Foundation’s teaching and learning toolkit, and evidence from our own experience to allocate funding to interventions that are most likely to maximise achievement.  However, we never confuse eligibility for the Pupil Premium with low ability, and focus on supporting our disadvantaged students to achieve the highest levels.


The Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) was introduced in April 2011 and provides funding for:

  • Raising the attainment of disadvantaged students of all abilities to reach their potential.
  • Supporting children and young people with parents in the regular armed forces.

Publicly-funded schools in England get extra funding from the government to help them improve the attainment of their disadvantaged students. Evidence shows that children from disadvantaged backgrounds generally face extra challenges in reaching their potential at school and often do not perform as well as their peers. The pupil premium grant is designed to allow schools to help disadvantaged students by improving their progress and the exam results they achieve.


The Purbeck School receives pupil premium funding based on the number of students we have from the following groups:

  • Free school meals: Schools receive funding for every student who claims free school meals or who has claimed free school meals in the last 6 years.
  • Looked-after and previously looked-after children: Schools receive funding for every student who has left local authority care through adoption, a special guardianship order or child arrangements order. Local authorities receive funding for each child they are looking after; they must work with the school to decide how the money is used to support the child’s personal education plan.
  • Service premium: Schools receive funding for every student with a parent who is serving in HM Forces or has retired on a pension from the Ministry of Defence. This funding is to help with pastoral support.

The pupil premium is not based on ability. Research shows that the most academically able students from disadvantaged backgrounds are most at risk of under-performing. The Purbeck School will focus on these students just as much as students with lower results.

Applying for Free School Meals

If you feel you could be eligible for free school meals, it is very simple to apply and takes moments to do and as well as all the benefits listed above, you will receive over £400 worth of fantastic lunches available from our café and bistro. Simply telephone Dorset County Council on 01305 221014 and provide your National Insurance number and your child’s date of birth. You will be told immediately if you are eligible and the next steps in the process. We are not allowed to telephone on behalf of the parent or carer – it has to be done in person.

In addition, students in receipt of free school meals are never identified by us in any way as all students pay in the same way by using cashless catering so nobody can tell who is receiving free school meals.


The Purbeck School receives approximately £260,000 in total. It is up to school leaders to decide how to spend the pupil premium. This is because school leaders are best-placed to assess their students’ needs and use funding to improve attainment. However, The Purbeck School has created the Pupil Premium Guarantee to enhance and extend our current provision to make sure that students, whose parents or carers are on lower incomes, are not disadvantaged in any way.

Pupil Premium Guarantee

At The Purbeck School, for all Pupil Premium students, our Pupil Premium Guarantee includes:

  • £100 per child per academic year to go towards the cost of uniform, equipment, trips and activities. This will be held by the Business Manager but can be claimed at any time by parents/carers by contacting Mrs Katie Ayres-Turner ( All such requests will be treated with the strictest confidence, please click the link to complete the PP Funding Request Application Form.
  • Guaranteed access to a personal laptop to aid with home and remote learning. To apply, please complete the form at
  • Guaranteed access to a GCSE Study Pack (for all Y10/11 students), complete with quality revision guides and workbooks for each subject, or Knowledge Organisers (for all Y7-9 students), which can supplement both class and home learning.
  • Guaranteed access to diagnostic assessments to identify gaps in learning, such as CAT4 assessments, Lucid screening and exam concessions assessments.
  • Guaranteed access to Study Plus, our after-school academic support sessions, to help catch up on learning, self-quiz, complete home learning and self-directed study.
  • Guaranteed access to a Careers Adviser for advice and guidance at key points in their education.
  • Guaranteed access to a Learning Mentor to receive bespoke individual pastoral support and mentoring, where required, such as attendance, behaviour, emotional, mental health and wellbeing.
  • Guaranteed access to more able events and activities, motivational and careers-based opportunities, such as visits to university and local businesses, where appropriate.

At The Purbeck School, for all looked-after and previously looked-after children, our Pupil Premium Guarantee also includes:

  • Guaranteed access to our Mentoring Programme led by Emma Wetherall, Designated Teacher (, to improve performance by supporting organisation, relationships, home learning and attendance

At The Purbeck School, for all Service Premium students, our Pupil Premium Guarantee also includes:

  • Guaranteed access to a Service Childs Support Worker ( to offer pastoral support during challenging times and to help mitigate the negative impact of family mobility or parental deployment.
Non-eligible pupils

Schools can spend their pupil premium on students who do not meet the eligibility criteria but need extra support.

Tiered approach

Evidence suggests that pupil premium spending is most effective when schools use a tiered approach. At The Purbeck School, we have targeted spending across the following four priority areas:

  1. Teaching for Mastery and the Power of Assessment and Feedback

Teaching for Mastery is a commitment that virtually all students can learn all important academic knowledge to a level of excellence if allowed the right amount of time to learn and provided with the appropriate conditions to learn.

We understand the importance of ensuring that all teaching meets the needs of each learner, rather than relying on interventions to compensate. We are developing and implementing a Mastery model of teaching, learning and assessment. In most subjects, units of work begin with a diagnostic pre-assessment with pre-teaching to ensure that all students, before the teaching of a new idea begins, have the foundations for new learning. Teaching is responsive to the needs of students through continuous checking for understanding. High quality corrective instruction is provided to remedy gaps, errors and misconceptions in knowledge and skills. At the end of all units of work, post assessments provide opportunities for students to show what they have learned well and what they need to develop. Senior leaders, middle leaders and teachers across the school are continuously developing their curriculum and their classroom practice, by linking findings from cognitive science and other research.

  1. Highly tailored interventions and more time

Diagnostic assessments identify where basic skills gaps exist among students as soon as they arrive in Y7, through CAT4 assessments, reading tests and dyslexia screening. Quality first classroom teaching helps address and close these gaps. Students who have a reading age 12 months or more below their chronological age are provided an intervention appropriate from our Personalised Literacy Pathways, which includes IXL and Lexonic. Students who have a KS2 standardised score in Maths less than 90 are assigned to our Nurture Maths classes and receive an additional two lessons per cycle.

  1. Minimising barriers to achievement

We have thought carefully about what barriers to learning our students are experiencing, and how to remove or, at least, minimise them. As part of the Pupil Premium Guarantee, students will have access to a range of mentors to enable them to make progress with their learning. We have employed a Behaviour Management Support Worker, an Attendance Officer, a Mental Health Councillor and a Service Child Support Worker to provide well-targeted support to improve behaviour and attendance, and to support student’s mental wellbeing. Our Learning Mentors will strengthen links with families where these are barriers to a student’s learning. Our Pastoral Tiered Support Structure provides differentiated support to each student’s individual needs.

  1. Raising aspirations and broadening experiences

Our priority is to support every child fulfil their potential, encourage all students to raise aspirations, and to progress onto higher education or into a career of their choice. We support our disadvantaged students financially by subsidising costs for trips and extracurricular opportunities. The Careers Information, Advice & Guidance Education programme at The Purbeck School aims to encourage all students to develop skills that will enable them to make the transition into further or higher education, apprenticeships and accredited training in employment.  It aims to offer objective and impartial advice from a range of talks, activities and individual interviews. All students are offered a careers appointment to discuss their next steps, whether this is thinking about GCSE options, Post16 education or beyond.

Current Progress and Success


The Government has announced that it will not publish any school or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for 2020. This update published here clarifies what this means for the way school and college accountability will operate for 2019/20.


The headline GCSE performance measures for Pupil Premium students at The Purbeck School are:

Progress 8 0.14
Attainment 8 41.1
Percentage of pupils achieving 9-5 in English and Maths 17.8%
Percentage of pupils achieving a grade 5 in English 33.3%
Percentage of pupils achieving a grade 5 in Maths 31.1%
Percentage of pupils achieving a grade 9-4 in English and Maths 46.7%
Percentage of pupils achieving a grade 4 in English 60%
Percentage of pupils achieving a grade 4 in Maths 64.4%
Percentage of pupils entering the English Baccalaureate 6.7%
Percentage of pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate 4.4%
  • Proportion of Pupil Premium students making expected progress is in line with national non Pupil Progress students – this is an excellent achievement!
  • Well done to all of our Pupil Premium students; they achieved excellent results.
  • Pupil Premium students made better progress than Non-Pupil Premium students in Food Technology, Geology, Photography and PRE.
  • Pupil Premium students made above or expected progress in Combined Science, Construction, English Literature, Food technology, French, Geography, Geology, Maths, Media, Photography, PRE and Sport.
  • Students in receipt of Free School Meals (Ever6) achieved a Maths Progress 8 score of 0.12. This indicates that FSM students make more progress at The Purbeck School to Non-FSM students at other schools;
Our commitment to every student

Please rest assured that although the school is investing in this provision, the school works hard to ensure ALL students achieve their potential. All students are consistently monitored and if anyone is underperforming, they will also get the benefits listed above to improve their performance. The additional money has allowed the school to add extra capacity to work that we are already doing so that we can help more students.


Key documents