Pupil Premium Award

Monday 22 February 2016

Government Award for Ark St Alban’s Academy

Ark St Alban’s Academy in Highgate, Birmingham, has won a local Pupil Premium Award by the Department for Education in recognition of the excellent progress made by its most disadvantaged students at Key Stage 4 (GCSE).  Ark St Alban’s will now go forward to the regional and national Pupil Premium Awards.

Writing to Principal Mark Gregory, Sam Gyimah MP, said, “The reason you have been selected is that you are one of the most improved schools in the country in terms of the attainment and value added progress of your disadvantaged pupils since 2012.  Also, an above average percentage of your disadvantaged pupils achieved the EBacc in 2015.”

In 2015, Ark St Alban’s Academy had the highest EBacc rate of any state comprehensive in Birmingham with an impressive 45% of students attaining the EBacc standard, an 11% increase on the previous year and nearly double the 2014 national average of 24%. 

Mr Gyimah’s letter continues, “It is clear that you and your staff have provided your disadvantaged pupils with a good start in life and prepared them well for further study, training or employment.  I would like to congratulate your governors, parents and pupils for their hard work and success, and thank you for your leadership in making such a difference to the future success of your pupils.”

A report published in January by independent think tank CentreForum also declared Ark St Alban’s Academy in the top two in the country for student progress – delivering high levels of achievement at GCSE but which have a low-attaining Key Stage 2 (Year 7) intake. 

In 2015, 83% of pupils at Ark St Alban’s Academy achieved grade A* – C in GCSE English, 82% in mathematics, and 69% of students achieved at least five A* - C grades including English and mathematics. 

Fardowsa was Ark St Alban’s ‘star’ student and was amazed with her results.  “I got 10 A*s and one A - I can’t believe it!  I really didn’t expect to get these grades”.  Fardowsa is now studying Geography, Chemistry, Physics and Maths A level at Ark St Alban’s Academy Sixth Form.

In 2015, the Department for Education stated that Ark was the best academy sponsor in the UK for student progress.  In the same year, Ark Kings Academy in Kings Norton was declared the most improved academy in the country, and Ark’s King Solomon Academy in London was confirmed as the best secondary school in the country.