Thomas Gainsborough Pupil premium strategy statement (Updated September 2023)

This statement details our school’s use of pupil premium (and recovery premium for the 2021 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.

School overview



School name

Thomas Gainsborough School

Number of pupils in school

2021/22 - 1594

2022/23 - 1573

Proportion (%) of pupil premium eligible pupils

2021/22 - 19.4%

2022/23 - 21.4%

2023/24 - 20.3%

Academic year/years that our current pupil premium strategy plan covers

 2021 - 2024

Date this statement was published

November 2021

-Updated November 2022

-Updated October 2023

Date on which it will be reviewed

November 2022, November 2023 & November 2024

Statement authorised by

Helen Yapp (Head Teacher)

Pupil premium lead

Christian Appleford (Deputy Head)


Ian Shrubsole -prior to September 2023

 Tracy Welsh from September 2023

Funding overview



Pupil premium funding allocation this academic year

2021/22 - £274,784

2022/23 - £274,896

2023/24 - £342,341

Recovery premium funding allocation this academic year

2021/22 - £37,700

2022/23 - £73,968

2023/24 - £73,692

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


Total budget for this academic year

If your school is an academy in a trust that pools this funding, state the amount available to your school this academic year

2021/22 - £312,484

2022/23 - £348,864

2023/24 - £416,033

Part A: Pupil premium strategy plan

Statement of intent

Thomas Gainsborough’s motto is ‘excellence for each for all’.  We want to ensure that we are successful in achieving that by providing a nurturing environment and delivering quality first teaching to support ALL our students and to remove ALL barriers to learning.

Our aim is to use pupil premium funding to help us improve and sustain higher attainment for our disadvantaged students at our school that is comparable with that of non-disadvantaged pupils nationally.

Our strategy is embedded into the whole school and will be the responsibility of all members of staff. We will have the highest expectations for all our students.


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

Challenge number

Detail of challenge


Attendance levels:

Our PP students had an attendance of 89% compared to 94.79 % for non–PP students.

This gap of 6% needs to be closed significantly.


EBacc numbers:

Our EBacc entries for all students are currently at 29% compared with LA figure of 31% and the NA OF 39%.

We aim to increase the numbers of PP students taking the EBacc from 15% to 30%


Learning deficit due to poor engagement during lockdown:

Internal assessments have identified that our PP students have been disproportionately impacted by lockdown and high rates of absence.

We need to ensure that this deficit is impacted upon.


Reading levels:

Research and internal assessments (Access Reading tests and GL data) reveal that covid lockdowns has reinforced barriers to reading for some families – a lack of access to books, a lack of a quiet space and a lack of school / peer support have all impacted on students’ willingness to read and enjoyment of reading.

We will focus on Key Stage 3 students to improve the reading scores and participation in reading.


Student /Parental Engagement in our Enrichment Programme:

The covid pandemic has resulted in some students having little or no access to enrichment activities both in and out of school. There is need to engage students and their families with activities which will improve their social, emotional, and mental wellbeing and to enable students to participate in a wide range of opportunities.

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

Improved Attendance

The gap has closed with non-PP students and the rate of PA has reduced.

Number of EBacc entries increase

Uptake in MFL increases at GCSE.

Attainment gaps have closed

PP students meet or exceed national averages for attainment and progress.

Reading levels have increased

Reading scores have increased and students are able to access the curriculum successfully.

Student /Parental Support for intervention strategies and Enrichment opportunities.

Students attend catch-up sessions and increased parental attendance at Academic Review Days. Attendance at Enrichment sessions increases.

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: £ 195,000


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

Access Provision / LSA support

Nurture provision to support the most vulnerable students and help them access the curriculum and close gaps in numeracy, literacy, and social development and to support attendance.


Embedding Instructional Coaching and dialogic teaching across the school





Recruitment of an additional teacher

A fixed term contract to provide capacity to enable to free up staff to provide additional intervention and to support ICT / Computer Science provision


Head of House TLRs x 5

To provide academic mentoring and support for PP students and to engage parents.

1, 3,5

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

Budgeted cost: £140,000


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

2 X Instructors employed to support English and Maths catch - up


2 x LSA to provide in-lesson support


Purchase of Lexia Power Up

Intervention tool to promote word recognition, grammar, and comprehension.


Purchase of Revision Resources

To ensure GCSE students have barriers to their learning / revision removed.


Purchase of chrome books

To enable all students to have access to IT in lessons if needed and to use at home.


Development of MFL booklets

To support attainment and progress


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

Budgeted cost: £ 105,000


Evidence that supports this approach

Challenge number(s) addressed

Enrichment Programme

After-school extra- curricular programme to provide a range of opportunities and experiences for students


Additional mini –bus lease

To support students, attend after school activities, PE fixtures and Cultural Capital experiences


Access to the Duke of Edinburgh Award

Costs met for PP students to encourage participation


Educational visits

Costs met to promote participation


Sundries such as uniform, toiletries etc

To remove barriers to attendance


Elsa Training x 2


Drawing and Talking Training x1


Recruitment of a Learning Mentor

To focus on attendance support and parental engagement


Contingency fund

Resources set aside for needs not yet identified but essential that we are able to respond if needed.


Total budgeted cost: £ 440,000

Part B: Review of outcomes in the previous academic year

Pupil premium strategy outcomes

This details the impact that our pupil premium activity had on pupils in the academic years 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23.

October 2023 review (for 2022/23)

  • Challenge 1 - Attendance (Improved Attendance,  The gap has closed with non - PP students and the rate of PA has reduced).

Outcome = Attendance continues to be and has increased as a national area of concern and need of action post pandemic.  The impact of this on student and family wellbeing and subsequent challenge on attending school has been seen in Suffolk and throughout the UK.  The school continues to be broadly in line in gaps between PP and Non PP students without closing any further currently, despite significant work by the school on supporting PP students, as well as those who are the ‘unseen disadvantaged’.  PP attendance was at 86.84% and Non PP at 92.86%.  These figures are above those seen nationally and within Suffolk.  This Non PP figure has been significantly affected by students who are medically unfit for school receiving alternative tuition, with their attendance not being counted towards attendance figures when they are not receiving tuition.  The school has further developed its systems and procedures for monitoring, support and action and these have been utilised as good practice by Trust schools as well as being noted in a recent Ofsted Inspection for its improving work (September 2018).  This target is continuing as part of the 2021-24 strategy and is supported within aspects of the 2023/24 school improvement plan.

November 2022 review (for 2021/22)

  • Challenge 1 - Attendance (Improved Attendance,  The gap has closed with non - PP students and the rate of PA has reduced).

Outcome  = Attendance was a key part of one of the 2021/22 school improvement strategies.  A Learning mentor to support attendance role was developed and disadvantaged students were reviewed and monitored rigorously for support, early intervention and plans to re-engage into school where needed. Tracking spreadsheet created to support review of strategies employed and for quick identification of PP students needing intervention. Attendance levels for PP finished at 87.5% and Non PP at 92.5% (Assembly Pro) with the gap starting to close but working continuing.

This target is continuing as part of the 2021-24 strategy and is on the current 2022/23 school improvement plan.

  • Challenge 2 - Number of EBacc entries increase.  Uptake in MFL increases at GCSE.

Outcome = 2022/23 update = 18 out of 62 students (29%) starting option courses in September have chosen to study a language, this is an increase on uptake from the previous year when only 10 out of 55 (18%) of pupil premium students chose a language.  This work continues to build from work within key stage 3 to be an increasing number year on year.  This strategy was recognised as positive action during Ofsted visit in September 2023.

Outcome 2021/22 review= Key work has developed throughout the year to improve engagement and uptake within MFL and EBACC subjects.  These curriculum areas have moved location within school to become more prominent and visible throughout the corridors to support the raising awareness of languages.  Curriculum decisions for options choices have been re-designed to ensure students who can achieve a grade 5 in English will take a language.  Disadvantaged students have been signposted to interventions for grade 5 in English that will be completed to support uptake at EBacc subjects and for language at GCSE level. Booklets produced to support lesson progression through scaffolding tasks and retrieval work in MFL.  Enrichment activities (and further planned with trips) for languages have seen PP students supported to attend these, including costs paid.

This target is continuing as part of the 2021-24 strategy and is on the current 2022/23 school improvement plan (raising standards, confident and authentic experiences).

  • Challenge 3 - Attainment gaps have closed.  PP students meet or exceed national averages for attainment and progress.

Outcome = 2022/23 update = 47 disadvantaged students averaged a Progress 8 score of -0.35 (within a confidence interval of -0.75 to 0.06) - this places their progress not significantly lower than all students nationally. 51% of the students gained grade 4 in both English and Maths, this is close to the 58% who achieved the measure in 2019. The attainment gap in 2023 was 37 (disadvantaged students Attainment 8 (A8), 2023) to 53 (non-disadvantaged students A8 in 2023) compared to 47 to 55 in 2019.

Outcome = Despite interventions and support, attainment gaps are still a key priority to close.  Examination results in the summer of 2022 were the first from examinations since the covid pandemic and TAGS.  Covid related absences and attendance incorporated with lost learning due to covid has continued to mean this is a priority to ensure all disadvantaged students can achieve in line with their peers.  An increase in social emotional mental health concerns for disadvantaged students also impacted on examination performance. 

This target is continuing as part of the 2021-24 strategy and is suuported within areas of the current 2023/2024 school improvment plan.

  • Challenge 4 - Reading levels have increased.  Reading scores have increased and students are able to access the curriculum successfully.  

Outcome = 2022/23 update

Outcome = School improvement plan target for 2021/22.  Lexia completed within classrooms for key groups and continued for 22/23.  Students with the lowest prior attainment reading scores in years 7 & 8 have been participating in the ‘Herts for Learning’ reading fluency project and Lexia to develop vocabulary, comprehension and grammar twice a week.  Key individuals have been targeted for personalised reading support.  Reading instructors deployed into teaching classes to provide additional support for students to access their curriculum reading.  All members of staff have access to reading scores for all disadvantaged students from GL assessment to support planning and scaffold support within quality first teaching strategies.  All disadvantaged students during year 7 transition week were bought a copy of the ‘TGS 50’ books for them to read over the summer and followed up with a small class project in September.

This target is continuing as part of the 2021-24 strategy and is supported within areas of the current 2023/24 school improvement plan.

  • Challenge 5 - Student /Parental Support for intervention strategies and Enrichment opportunities.  Students attend catch-up sessions and increased parental attendance at Academic Review Days. Attendance at Enrichment sessions increases.

Outcome 2022/23 update = Academic review days continued to support our students.  Families were able to have regular meetings with their child(rens) tutors to monitor and discuss academic progress whilst signposting where support was needed.  This included attending enrichment clubs or directed to intervention for academic improvement.  Attendance of PP students at these events continued to be monitored and tracked by an Assistant Headteacher and engagement by PP families remained extremely high above 90%.  An extensive extra-curricular programme continues to be in place.  Staff directed time is utilised to ensure all staff offer an activity to meet any academic support or enrichment need a student, especially any who may be disadvantaged, may have to ensure they do not miss out on opportunities open to others.  Attendance by PP students to enrichment or co-curricular activities is tracked and monitored by a Deputy Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher weekly and reviewed by SLT regularly.  Attendance of all PP students to at least one club, activity (in or outside of school), enrichment opportunity or intervention was successfully achieved in 2022/23.

Outcome = Following the covid pandemic, ARD (Academic Review days) recommenced in person following a period where these had been completed online.  Attendance was extremely positive and monitored / tracked.  Students whose parents could not attend received phone call meetings to follow up or were invited in at a new time to meet and discuss progress.  Engagement for in person on the day appointments reached 93% above previous online meeting engagement.  A full extra-curricular and co-curricular programme was in place throughout 2021/22 for directed support as well as open sessions to attend.  This to support opportunities for increased learning, academic progress, social and personal development.  Attendance at sessions tracked and monitored by Assistant Headteacher.  National tutoring and school based mentors employed to support numeracy and literacy, which disadvantaged students were able to receive.

This target is continuing as part of the 2021-24 strategy and is supported within areas of the current 2023/24 school improvement plan.



November 2021 review (for 2020/21)

Due to the impact of the COVID –19 pandemic we are unable to publish our performance measures for 2019/20 and 2020/21 and 2021/22 results will not be used to hold schools to account.

Several of our planned strategies were not fully implemented due to the restrictions and partial school closures. Our resources were diverted to support acute and unplanned need arising from the pandemic.

  • Provision of IT equipment for home learning.

  • Purchase of desk cameras and visualisers to facilitate online learning.

  • Additional free school meals for vulnerable students in school.

  • Food parcels / toiletries for disadvantaged families.

School assessments have demonstrated that disadvantaged students' overall progress and attainment remains below those of non-disadvantaged students.

Externally provided programmes

Please include the names of any non-DfE programmes that you purchased in the previous academic year. This will help the Department for Education identify which ones are popular in England



GCSE pod





Service pupil premium funding (optional)

For schools that receive this funding, you may wish to provide the following information:



How did you spend your service pupil premium allocation last academic year?


What was the impact of that spending on service pupil premium eligible pupils?


Further information (optional)

Our school Improvement Plan priorities continue to be focused on improving teaching throughout the school and wellbeing of students and staff is at the heart of everything we do, and our disadvantaged students are a key focus for all members of staff.  StepLab as an intervention tool has been introduced to monitor and support professional development for teachers.


Staff CPD continues to be delivered to underpin this work to ensure the ‘first 20%’ and Pupil Premium students are at the forefront of quality first teaching techniques and supportive classroom interventions. 


The schools rigorous early help offer and student support work in tandem with the academic teams to ensure all disadvantaged students' needs are met, both inside the classroom and out.  Thus ensuring personal, social and academic development is achievable and opportunities are  available to enrich the life experiences of those considered to be at a disadvantage.  TGS were awarded the IQM (Inclusion Quality Mark) award in May 2022 and made a centre of excellence for their work supporting inclusion, which included work for disadvantaged students.  The school also received an award for its PSHE/RSE work via the Terrence Higgins Trust.  The personal development and support for all, including PP students, was seen and recognised by Ofsted when visiting in September 2023.