(Terminology from Ofsted Report). What is meant by the term 'disadvantaged pupils'?
'Disadvantaged pupils' is a term used by Ofsted and some other agencies to refer to those pupils who attract an additional amount of funding called 'pupil premium funding'. The funding is allocated where pupils have claimed free school meals in the last six years or the pupil is in care (or has left care through adoption or another formal route). In most cases, the funding is not directed at a specific child, but is pooled together to support the learning and progress of the group as a whole.
When GCSE results are published the school is judged on the GCSE performance of all pupils, but also on the performance of specific groups e.g. boys, girls, upper/middle/lower ability. In particular, the progress of disadvantaged pupils is looked at i.e. how well did disadvantaged pupils do in their GCSEs compared to the level they attained at Key Stage 2?
The Ofsted report indicates that, on average, disadvantaged pupils at Woodhey do not make as much progress as other pupils and they have low attendance. In reality, most disadvantaged pupils at Woodhey attend as well as other pupils and make similar progress to their peers. Because the number of disadvantaged pupils at Woodhey is low, the very low attendance/progress of a small amount of pupils has had a significant impact on the 'average'. We would like to assure parents that this small minority of pupils are well-supported by the school - they often have a bespoke curriculum and other significant intervention. Our most important priority is to prepare them for their future and for some pupils this is not about their GCSE qualifications. In 2017, 100% of disadvantaged pupils at Woodhey went on to be in suitable Education, Employment of Training - this is not the case nationally.