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The Pupil Premium Grant (PPG) is provided by the Government in addition to the main school funding.  It is the Government’s belief that this is the best way to address the underlying inequalities between students eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their peers, as it ensures that funding given to tackle disadvantage can be directly targeted at the students who need it most.

The Government allows the Academy to decide how best to spend the PPG, but requires us to explain how the additional funding has supported our students. At Manchester Communication Academy, we find Pupil Premium an essential component to our school funding, which allows us to introduce, analyse and build strategies which help ensure our students to have a complete educational experience, attain their full potential and narrow the ‘gap’ between them , their peers in school and also students who are not eligible for this funding nationally.

For the Academic year ending 2017-18, we had 1126 students on roll and 745 students were eligible for Pupil Premium funding, significantly higher than the national average. The Academy received £684,520 of Pupil Premium (PP) funding, and separately £22,082 for year 7 catch-up – a total of £706,602


The analysis below sets out how this funding has been allocated across areas of expenditure during the year to address underlying inequality, improve attainment and behaviour, extend opportunities, develop skills and personal qualities and ‘close the gap’ between students eligible for PP funding and their peers. At MCA the cycle of data collection and the monitoring and tracking of the cohort’s attainment, will be used to inform student progress and enable the early identification of need, support and appropriate intervention.

An internal review is completed at least once a term to measure progress towards objectives. A key link governor for pupil premium will oversee this process. In addition, further monitoring reviews will be completed by an external reviewer. 


  • Social and Cultural Barriers - peer pressure, family background and attendance

  • Personal & Practical Barriers - caring responsibilities

  • Emotional Barriers - lack of self-esteem or confidence, adjusting to change

  • Academic Barriers - standards of literacy & numeracy, special education needs

  • Behavioural Barriers - attitude to learning


At Manchester Communication Academy we identify and remove barriers to learning through a range of strategies to help students succeed in their studies and beyond.

A summary of our main strategies:


1. Social Investment


We aim to remove those barriers to learning which impact on student progress, behaviour and attendance and ensure they are fit, healthy and ready to learn. We provide:


  • A specialist attendance team

  • A specialist behaviour team

  • A team of additional specialists including nurses, counsellors, speech therapists and psychologists

  • Fitness and health tutors

  • Primary outreach teams

  • Transition and family outreach




Improved behaviour; reduction in SIMs incidents; reduction in fixed term exclusions; reduction in alternative provision placements; health tracking programmes; and targets; healthy eating awards; lead school for Health & Wellbeing; oversubscribed in year 7; improved attendance; reduction in PA figures


2. High Quality Teaching Support 


We collect analyse and apply robust and relevant data to inform staff, students and parents of progress and provide coaching, training and support for staff to achieve impact on learning. We have:


  • A specialist data management team

  • Group call and regular reports

  • Systems to support  staff professional development

  • Reputable assessment programmes to track progress and personal development

  • Monitoring and evaluation programmes to impact on the quality of teaching

  • Weekly staff training with additional coaching programmes

  • Regular engagement with exam boards for training and moderating



Robust tracking and monitoring systems; good engagement with parents; well qualified staff; 25 staff trained as examiners or moderators; specialist coaching team; good engagement with professional networks; leading professional partnerships



3. Ensuring Equity 


We aim to provide equality of opportunity to all students regardless of their background and to overcome those obstacles that might impede their ambition. We provide

  • Free school uniforms for year 7 students

  • A comprehensive and effective CEIAG programme

  • Access to a full range of appropriate exams and qualifications

  • Subsidised or free trips and activities

  • Free ingredients for cookery lessons

  • ICT equipment to bride the digital divide


Number on roll; outstanding destination data; 100% participation in cookery and PE; 100% access to trips; increased number of exam qualifications; effective careers advice and guidance; supported access to laptops and internet.


4. Curriculum Enrichment and Interventions 

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum, with an extensive after school programme and access to visiting specialists and coaches. We provide


  • Holiday clubs

  • Extended School Activities every night

  • Study Support sessions

  • Visits and trips to employers, universities, and colleges

  • Residential activities such as DoE, trips to France and Germany and  student conferences

  • Alternative curriculum programmes

  • Free music and instrumental tuition

  • EAL support for students and their families




Oversubscribed holiday clubs; 100% attendance at ESA and Study Support; successful MCA+ transition back to mainstream; 40% of pupils engage in music tuition; good progress and attainment for EAL students


5. Specialist Key Stage 4 Support and Intervention 


We know how stressful the final years of school can be and the additional pressure faced by students and their families. We aim to give additional support at these key times to ensure our students achieve their full potential. We provide

  • 1:1 tutoring programmes

  • “The Hub” for vulnerable students

  • Study support sessions in “The Workshop”

  • GCSE Pod

  • Revision guides

  • Specialist revision training programmes

  • On line tutoring

  • Master classes and booster sessions

  • Therapy and relaxation sessions


Increased usage of GCSE Pod in key stage 4; good attendance at The Workshop; good engagement with holiday revision; significantly improved outcomes – see below.

Impact: Year 11 Outcomes 2018


Year 11 students outperform national ‘other’ at MCA. Despite 80% of the cohort being eligible for additional pupil premium funding, the cohort achieved a Progress 8 score of +0.22. Students not eligible, achieved a score of +0.29. (A relatively small gap of 0.7, much lower than national averages).


Pupil premium students at MCA outperform either local authority or national students across almost all students including English and maths.


51% PP students attained a grade 4+ in both English and maths. 74% of Pupil students achieved a grade 4+ in English and 54% in maths. This attainment is much higher than the national disadvantage cohort.


In addition, there has been a significant improvement in the performance of High Attaining Pupil Premium students, with 1 in 3 students achieving a grade 7-9.



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“My maths teacher makes lessons fun. She helps and reassures me if I’m struggling which helps me get back on track”

Brian Seidenari, Y9


“I would like to express my appreciation to have the golden opportunity provided by MCA to study A-Level Mathematics. I enjoy studying Mathematics with such an excellent teacher” (Ibrahim achieved a Grade 9 in his GCSE Mathematics in Year 6)  

- Ibrahim Ahmed, Y7

The following students attended the Royal Institute of Mathematics masterclasses at Manchester University:


“In the university, we learnt what happens behind the maths that we do in school. It makes us have an understanding of why we do maths and what makes up each specific topic. An example would be origami where we looked at the different dimensions and what makes each shape. Overall it was very helpful and fun”

Taha Bokhari, Y9   

"We've been trying different methods and topics in maths, for example fractals and origami and other things we might do at A-level. My favourite lesson was origami because it showed me a different perspective of maths"

- Iman Najar


“I enjoy Biology as I find it quite interesting. Recently we learned about antibiotics and how sometimes it’s the right thing for a patient to be prescribed antibiotics but other times it can mean you are at risk of a longer or more dangerous illness.”

Madison Taylor, Y11.

“I enjoy Biology because I want to be a surgeon when I go to university. Biology helps me learn about the body and how it works.”

- Bellevie Ndingambote, Y8

I really enjoy the lessons when we do science experiments and when we spend time in the science labs.

- Ryan Berry, Y10


“I really enjoy Geography, our teacher jokes and interacts with us. I especially enjoy the trips because they’re informative, useful and we don’t have to pay for them either.”

- Hasna Hayder, Y11 (Geography)

“It’s good how much details teachers go into to make you understand and also the extra detail on slides and worksheets so you can fully understand”

- Kira Cunningham, Y11 (History)

“I like Geography because its not boring, I don’t lose interest. I also like how there’s a lot of practical work like field trip. It keeps it interesting and holds my interest.”

- Ko Schuan, Y11 (Geography)


“In languages I enjoy playing games and going on the laptops but what makes me learn the most is quizzes and doing a writing task at the end of the lesson”

Mikey Costello, Y8

"What helps me to learn in my language lesson is a calm environment and some activities. Challenging homework also helps me and I enjoy pair work and whiteboard work."

Raiz Nsuele, Y8


"I enjoy using the costume, props and set we have in performing arts as it really helps me get into character."

- Huda Ibrahim, Y8

"I really like singing tuition because I like to be creative with my voice. Singing helps me to express myself."

- Chenille Hitchman, Y8


"I like Photography because we get the opportunity to take lots of photos and get to go to different places to take them. I think it is good that we have cameras so we can take good quality pictures and learn how to use a camera properly."

Caitlin Washington, Y10 (Photography)

"I enjoy the different equipment in Textiles especially the fabric paints and block printing equipment. These help me with my GCSE."

Daryl Oldham, Y10 (Textiles)

"I like Art because it is relaxing and you can express ideas showing creativity. The equipment and resources that we are provided with are useful as it gives us a range of media to work with."

Ellie Leigh, Y10 (Art)


"I enjoy working with the computers in Technology and designing different products it is like a hobby to me, I use Inventor all the time and it never gets old. I love learning how 3D printers work and I am pleased to be able to use them regularly to make the things I have designed in my lessons".

- Deejay Torok, Y10

"I enjoy my lessons in Technology because the lessons are fun and they let me be creative. I like using all the different equipment and learning new skills. I like Technology because we get to use Photoshop and the laser cutter to make my products look professional."

- Bethany Marshall, Y9

My favourite subject is Technology I like being creative and making things by hand, also it helps me understand how to use different machinery used in technology. I like how we learn different techniques when cutting wood and understanding there are lots of other types of materials.

- Tia Cowen, Y8


“My favourite foods are the curries and spicy foods we make in bombay badboys afterschool club. I always bring a takeaway tub in so my mum can have some when I get home”

Steven Forsythe, y10

"We don’t have to bring any ingredients to school because they give them to us each lesson. Sometimes we get to make cakes but most of the time we try to cook healthy foods. I like it when we get to design our own dishes at the end of a term."

- Matin Houssani, y9

"I enjoy learning about food from other cultures and which country each dish comes from. I normally take a picture on my phone when I cook a dish and it looks good so I can show my family afterwards."

- Daryl Oldham, y10


“I like the way in PE they give us a free kit and pay for trips or fixtures that we go too so we dont miss out on anything and have we access to a lot of equipment like trampolines, fitness suite and outdoor facilities like the 3G and 4G. ”

Eva Kaniu, Y9.

"I enjoy PE at MCA because we are able to try lots of different sports because we have good equipment like golf."

- Alex Pirnog, Y9

"When we go on trips with PE we don't have to pay with own money."


"I enjoy the RE lessons because it gives me a chance to explore multiple answers to questions that have been asked for centuries. RE allows us to delve deeper into the human mind and what it takes to have belief. It also shows us the possibilities of the world" 

-Jenny Luu, Yr9


"I enjoy RE because I get to learn new things and have discussions about a variety of things. It allows us to think about our morals, ethics and broaden our view of the world" 

- Demerecce Green, Yr10