Case study: Allerton High School

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Helping high achieving disadvantaged children to succeed as they move from primary to secondary school

The big idea

Delivering specialist workshops, project work, university and careers guidance and working with parents to boost high-achieving students’ attainment and engagement.

Why it’s needed

Devoting the resources to stretching the abilities of high-achieving disadvantaged children at the start of secondary school can be a challenge for schools under pressure to deliver results for children at Progress 8 level. Because of this, these children often fall behind. In fact, studies have found that only one in three of the brightest disadvantaged students at primary school achieve top grades at Progress 81. This can hold them back from achieving their full potential in later life. To address this, Allerton High School in North Leeds have developed a project to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to thrive from primary to secondary school.

A core focus at Allerton High School is challenging our most able students to be the best that they can be. The funding from SHINE has allowed us to engage and motivate these children from the very beginning of their journey with us. With a strategic focus on disadvantaged children who have great potential, the support from SHINE is helping us to raise their aspirations from the start.

Clare Campbell Key Stage Three Progress Lead and Year Seven Achievement Leader Teacher, Allerton High School

How it works

Allerton High School has partnered with a local primary school to find their most high-achieving disadvantaged children. Each child is invited to specialist workshops at primary school focused on English, maths and science, which challenge their abilities and build a passion for learning. Students are then given a unique chance to enhance their knowledge at summer school and go on school trips to give them access to new cultural experiences.

Once they start secondary school, children are given the opportunity to secure a higher qualification in an area of interest to them. They are also buddied up with older, high achieving students to support them through their studies. During the project, parents are supported to become even more engaged in their child’s learning by a dedicated member of staff. They make sure that parents are provided with the tools and resources to build on the support they offer their child at home.

The impact

Allerton High School is giving the highest achieving disadvantaged children the academic challenge and inspiration they need to discover and embrace their potential.

  • This project will support 100 students.
  • In the long term, the school would like to see parents and staff build stronger relationships and parents become even more engaged in the school community.


  1. Ofsted, The most able students: Are they doing as well as they should in our non-selective secondary schools?, 2013