Cactus is a bespoke service which streamlines the way you offer subject choices at GCSE and A-Level
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How It Works
1: Each prospective KS4 or KS5 student lists the subjects that they would ideally like to study
2: This anonymised data is sent to Cactus
3: Cactus provides an optimised solution that maximises the number of students whose study choices are satisfied
Cactus allows you to improve your GCSE and A-level entries with just 30 minutes work. Our optimised solutions allow you to increase student recruitment, obtain higher rates of successful completions and bring increased revenue to your school. And we do all the work for you, removing one of the most time-consuming administrative tasks of the year.
Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School
"The plan provided by Cactus increased Sixth Form pupil numbers by 32% compared with our previous year, bringing in thousands of pounds of additional revenue."
Bishop of Llandaff is a co-ed, state comprehensive in Cardiff, one of the UK’s major cities. The school came under new leadership in September 2014, and its sixth form was quickly identified as an area with significant untapped potential. Consequently, a leadership team implemented a range of actions, including updating the existing key stage 5 subject options.
Along with a strong focus on improving teaching and learning, a sixth form recruitment drive included the establishment of a close transitional relationship with current year 11 pupils and a concerted effort to market the sixth form to students from other institutions.
To do this, in April 2016 questionnaires concerning the preferred study options of each student were circulated to both incumbent year 11s and prospective external students during a sixth form taster day. This information was then used in an anonymised form by Cactus to produce a set of optimal subject columns that maximised the number of students whose choices were satisfied.
The school found that the solution returned by Cactus resulted in a situation where no existing year 11 pupil was forced to move to another school due to a key stage 5 subject clash. Meanwhile, more than ten applicants from other schools cited the viability of the options columns as one of their main reasons for applying to Bishop of Llandaff.
At the start of the following school year (September 2016) Bishop of Llandaff’s applications to the sixth form had risen by 32%, from 134 to 177.
The impact of these improvements has also been felt financially in the school. The additional income is being used to fund future improvements to infrastructure, teaching and learning and community reach, greatly assisting the school’s improvement journey.