…Portland is home to an isolated community – an island connected to Dorset by one road, without a train line, and 20 minutes from Weymouth. Together, Weymouth and Portland are classed as the third most disadvantaged local authority in England. The population is 99% white British, and job opportunities are limited following the closure of the Royal Naval Base in the 1990s.

At Atlantic Academy, 35 per cent of students are entitled to Free School Meals. For boys, it is 40 per cent. Some 38 per cent are from Fortuneswell North, now the most deprived ward in Dorset, and in the top 10 per cent nationally. It means that for some of our pupils, home life can be chaotic. It is not unusual for some of the boys to turn up at school hungry, unprepared, and already subjected to toxic masculinity.

Yet our pupils’ background is not a reflection on their talent or ability to learn.

Last year, Atlantic Academy, part of the Aspirations Academies Trust, replaced The Thomas Hardy School as the second highest ranking in Dorset on Progress 8 with a score of 0.4.

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