NFER evidence on access and achievement of children in poverty in England

01 January 2013

NFER provided a background paper for Ofsted’s recent review of access and achievement in education. This paper, published here, contributed to Sir Michael Wilshaw’s report Unseen children: access and achievement 20 years on and informed the recommendations Sir Michael made. It reviewed research evidence on what works in closing the gap in educational achievement for children and young people living in poverty, local authority child poverty strategies and the Pupil Premium.

The evidence comes from reports published between 2008 and 2013, predominantly comprising research undertaken as part of NFER’s work with the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services (C4EO) and for the Local Government Association, but also including findings from the NFER Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey and a joint study of parental engagement with Oxford University Press.

Many of the key messages from the research were not new but, pulled together, they highlighted the importance of engaging parents; strong visionary leadership; quality teaching or other provision; a holistic approach to deal with the range of obstacles holding back the child or young person; and taking account of the individual child and family, including their values and beliefs.