News Blog

04 Dec 2018

Selective Schools' Expansion Fund (SSEF)

Bournemouth School is delighted to announce that its bid to the Selective Schools’ Expansion Fund (SSEF) has been successful.  Consequently, the school will receive a grant of £3.9 million to enable it to accommodate increased student numbers in the future, through the provision of additional classrooms, new enlarged dining facilities, and additional toilets. The additional capital funding obtained through the SSEF will help the school begin an ambitious long-term programme of improvements to its accommodation.

The Department of Education received requests for £130 million across 39 projects. Following a rigorous assessment process, the Secretary of State approved 16 projects at an overall value of £49.3 million.  The successful schools, who collectively make up 10 percent of the country’s 163 grammars, will accommodate up to 4,000 extra pupils, and are spread across 12 counties.

Announcing the list, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: 'I have always been clear that selective schools will only be able to expand if they meet the high bar we have set for increasing access for disadvantaged children, and all of these schools have done that.

'As a result, countless more children from disadvantaged areas will benefit from places at outstanding schools.'

Bournemouth School currently admits 150 students into Year 7, but will be admitting an additional form of entry (30 students) in September 2019, and proposes to add a further additional form of entry from September 2021.  The expansion will help meet the forecast increased demand for secondary school places across the local area, and has been supported by Bournemouth Borough Council. 

The school, which is graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted, and has a track record of students achieving excellent GCSE and A-level results, is popular with parents and consistently over-subscribed.  The progress of GCSE students in 2018 was “well above average”, with the percentage of students achieving the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) at grade 5 or above significantly higher than all other local schools. The 2018 examination results at A-level and GCSE placed the school in the top 10 of all maintained schools in the South West in the recent Sunday Times Parent Power listings.

The success of the bid acknowledges the changes to the school’s admissions policy that have prioritised the admission of disadvantaged students and those from the local community over those who live further afield, and its commitment to work in partnership with other local schools.

Changes to the school’s admissions policy has already led to a change in the profile of the school’s Year 7 intake; in September 2018, 10% of the Year 7 cohort were eligible for the pupil premium grant (well above the national figure of 3.1% for selective schools, and above the proportion of pupils with high prior attainment who are eligible for this funding).  This September, 93% of the school’s intake were Bournemouth residents. 

As part of its SSEF application, the school also proposed to extend partnership working with local primary and non-selective secondary schools to ensure that a higher proportion of students, but especially those who are disadvantaged, have access to an academic and stretching curriculum and qualifications to equip them for higher education and future careers.

Headmaster, Dr Dorian Lewis, commented:

“I am delighted with the news – the funding secured represents the most significant capital investment in Bournemouth School for decades.  Our students deserve to be educated in a modern, fit-for-purpose environment, and the work that we will now be able to undertake will be the first phase of securing this for them.  We have some exciting and ambitious plans to extend working alongside local schools to have a positive impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of the local educational offer, and most importantly improve the life chances of the young people whom we all serve.”

The Chair of the Governing Body, Mr David Sidwick commented:

“This represents a magnificent step forward in the school’s development. The governors in the last few years changed the vision of the school to ensure it truly is an engine for social mobility and integrated with the local community. This process continues and has now been recognised through this grant. I would like to thank my fellow governors, the headmaster and the amazing staff that worked so hard on this vision and this bid to ensure the pupils and parents get the excellent education and school they deserve.”

4 December 2018