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New report and guide show how schools can use Pupil Premium to improve results

5 November 2015

Schools can make a difference to the attainment of disadvantaged pupils according to a report by NFER published today, which identifies the good practice and strategies being implemented in schools since the introduction of the Pupil Premium in 2011.

The report, Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils: Articulating Success and Good Practice, highlights what the most successful schools are doing and confirms that while school intake and pupil characteristics are influential they do not solely determine pupils’ outcomes.

It explains how successful schools have tackled the challenge and sets out the next steps for schools where attainment for these pupils is low. It is accompanied by a briefing for school leaders, Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils: Briefing for School Leaders, which outlines the most effective way for schools and school leaders to support these pupils.

The research, commissioned by the Department for Education, investigated the role of school characteristics; school strategies; and implementation approaches in raising disadvantaged pupils’ attainment. Taking place in 2014-15, it involved an analysis of English school performance data, a survey of 1,329 primary and secondary schools and interviews with 49 leaders of primary, secondary and special schools.

Commenting on the research, Caroline Sharp, NFER Project Director, said: ”The Pupil Premium is designed to help schools break the cycle of disadvantage. This is a challenging task, so it is important to understand the factors associated with higher attainment for disadvantaged pupils. This research identifies the influences on schools’ success and provides important insights for policy and practice.”

Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils: Articulating Success and Good Practice

Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils: Briefing for School Leaders