Aldridge Foundation is improving outcomes for disadvantaged students

Date: February 19th 2014

The 2013 GCSE exam results for the Aldridge Foundation sponsored academy schools demonstrate how effectively their entrepreneurial education is tackling a history of underachievement for disadvantaged young people in the communities they serve.

The standard indicator of disadvantage is the pupil premium, which is given to looked-after children (i.e. children in the care of the local authority for at least six months), the children of service/armed forces parents or those who have received free school meals at some point in the last six years. This indicator is used to monitor the progress of socially and economically disadvantaged students.

In the cohort who sat their exams in 2013 all of our schools had more students in this disadvantaged category than the national average. This reflects the Foundation’s mission to tackle educational under-achievement and social immobility, working to secure essential life skills for young people. And Founder Sir Rod Aldridge’s conviction that:

“Everyone has the right to expect an exciting, engaging and relevant education, regardless of who they are, or where they live.”

  • Number of disadvantaged students at the end of KS4:
  • National average: 27%
  • Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA):  63%
  • Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA): 39%
  • Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA): 36%
  • Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA): 33%

Source: http://www.education.gov.uk – KS4 2013 Results/numbers of disadvantaged students

Nationally there is a gap between the performance of these disadvantaged pupils and the rest of the cohort. The pupil premium is given to schools in order to help to close this gap in attainment between the two groups. However, nationally the gap remains, with the achievement of disadvantaged pupils 26.9 percentage points below their peers. All of the Aldridge sponsored academies recorded a smaller gap than this in 2013, most notably at our first school, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, where there was no gap in performance at all between the two groups.

Percentage point gap between the number of disadvantaged students and their peers achieving 5+ GCSE A*-C including English and maths:

  • National average: -26.9
  • Brighton Aldridge Community Academy: -12
  • Darwen Aldridge Community Academy: +1
  • Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy: -15
  • Portslade Aldridge Community Academy: -19

Source: http://www.education.gov.uk – KS4 2013 Results/closing the gap- exam results current year gaps

The percentage of disadvantaged students attaining 5+ GCSE A*-C including English and maths is also higher at all of our academies than the national average. BACA’s most recent results show how much progress they have made in narrowing this gap. In 2012 25% of disadvantaged pupils achieved 5+ GCSE A*-C including English and maths – in 2013 this rose to 41%. Nationally 40.9% of disadvantaged students achieve 5+ GCSE A*-C including English and maths, but at DACA this is 64% and at PACA and IPACA the results for disadvantaged students are over 6% higher than the national average, with 47% of achieving this important
benchmark.

This progress is also reflected in the number of disadvantaged students who make three levels of progress between year 6 (KS2) and year 11 (KS4) in English and maths. When students finish KS4 they should have made at least three levels of progress, meaning that if they received a level 4 in English at KS2 they are expected to get a C at GCSE at the end of KS4.

There is also a national gap between the number of disadvantaged students who achieve this, and their peers. For English this is -18.9 percentage points, and for maths this is -22.7 percentage points.

Once again Aldridge Academies are making progress to decrease the educational disadvantaged caused by social and economic disadvantage. All of our academies had a significantly lower gap between the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers who make expected progress in English, most notably BACA where disadvantaged students outperformed their peers.

Percentage point gap between the number of disadvantaged students and their peers making expected progress or better in English.

  • National average: -18.9
  • Brighton Aldridge Community Academy: +10
  • Darwen Aldridge Community Academy: -5
  • Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy:  -14
  • Portslade Aldridge Community Academy:  -9

Source: http://www.education.gov.uk – KS4 2013 Results/closing the gap- Pupil Progress in English – current year gaps/ Pupil Progress in Maths – current year gaps

IPACA and DACA also significantly lowered the gap in maths progress to -10 percentage points – at IPACA (over half the national gap) and -13 percentage points at DACA.

At BACA and DACA we see that the value added (VA) score demonstrates how much disadvantaged pupils are benefiting from these academies. The scores measure the progress made by each student from the end of Key Stage 2 (primary school) to the end of Key Stage 4 when they sit GCSE’s, using their best 8 exam results. A benchmark score of 1000 shows that students are making the national average progress in their secondary education. At schools scoring above 1000 students are consistently making above average progress.

At BACA the VA score for disadvantaged pupils is 1011.1 and at DACA 1010.8, well above the 983.4 average for disadvantaged students across the country.

Source: http://www.education.gov.uk – KS4 2013 Results/closing the gap-Value added best 8

Honor Wilson-Fletcher, Chief Executive of the Aldridge Foundation said: “The Foundation and the schools we sponsor share a conviction that it isn’t where you come from that matters – it’s where you want to go. Students from our longest established sixth form at DACA, for example, are now progressing to Oxford and a wide range of other universities, as well as setting up and running their own businesses.”

“We want all of our students to do outstandingly well, but it is a measure of the commitment and skill of our staff that those young people who have traditionally done least well, do better than average at our schools.  We have much more to do to ‘close the gap’, but we are very proud of what our students and our academies have achieved already.”

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