Below is an extract from Marc Rowlands Pupil Premium action research report: Tackling Educational Disadvantage by Understanding What Works.
Ten Reflections to Inform Future Pupil Premium Use:
- There is no thing as a ‘typical’ Pupil Premium child. The funding offers a unique opportunity to focus on the individual.
- The answers to cracking the code for disadvantaged learners doesn’t necessarily lie in the HTs office. Get teachers to input into provision. Middle leaders should be championing the cause of disadvantaged learners every day. Parents views on how to effectively use the funding can be invaluable.
- Don’t wait. Use the funding to enable more regular Pupil progress meetings. Empower TAs to flag up where interventions are not working for a particular child.
- Evidence informed, not evidenced led. The EEF toolkit offers a brilliant opportunity for Pupil Premium activity to be informed by evidence. But it was never intended to be used ‘painting by numbers’ style. Finding out what works for an individual school context should be closer to independent travel with a guidebook than a coach trip where you are told when and where to get off, when to eat etc…
- Get assessment right. If assessment is inconsistent or poor it is disadvantaged learners that are more likely to ‘slip through the net’.
- Monitor progress regularly, evaluate outcomes robustly – but understand that effective quality improvement is not necessarily judgemental.
- Be explicit about what you are trying to achieve and by when. ‘Improve numeracy levels’ is not clear enough. Hold yourself to account for this.
- Strong values and moral purpose agreed across a whole school are key. Disadvantaged learners need a great experience at school in both structured and unstructured times during the school day. Ensure that disadvantaged learners play a role in wider school life.
- Disadvantaged learners are most successful where teachers in the classroom feel accountable for their outcomes.
- Welcome external input. Working together over a period of time – with colleagues in your cluster or group of schools can be most valuable. A culture of trust and shared ideas that has grown over time has been of fundamental importance during this project.