Pupil premium strategies.
Barriers, strategies and exemplars.
How do you make sure every student, regardless of their background, achieves their full potential?
One lever you can pull is pupil premium funding.
On the 31st December schools have to submit their pupil premium spending plans to the DfE.
So to help you learn what strategies they employed to increase the life chances of their students, we’ve been researching successful schools, downloading their spending plans and analysing how they’ve been written.
We - schools - Are In Beta - always learning (especially when we think hard about how to best support those who need it most).
Pupil premium spending plans: what do they look across 20 successful schools?
In the full article I cover:
which 20 schools we looked at and how we chose them
which barriers to learning schools decided to address most often
which strategies schools employed most often
how to download 70 exemplars from successful schools with large disadvantaged cohorts
the limitations of our approach
What did we find?
Top 3 barriers to learning cited by schools.
Schools identified 40 barriers to disadvantaged students achieving. Given what’s been happening over the couple of years, the top 3 barriers won’t surprise you:
Attendance - 17/20 (85% of schools)
Literacy - 17/20 (85%)
Covid - 15/20 (70%)
But the remaining barriers and how often they were cited might surprise you.
Read the full analysis to find where barriers like numeracy, cultural capital and mental health come in the list.
Top 3 strategies used to improve “teaching”.
Schools cited 150 different strategies (or variations of them) to improve the broad area of “teaching” (the category in the DfE PPM template that also covers CPD, recruitment and retention). The levers they pulled most often to address this area were:
CPD (mentioned 44 times) - covering almost every aspect of CPD you can think of.
Recruitment (mentioned 24 times) - getting more, specialist colleagues in the building.
Teacher to student ratios (mentioned 23 times) - helping more students get more time with a greater number of teachers per head by increasing number of teachers or reducing class sizes.
Read the full article to discover where strategies like baseline testing, curriculum development and assessment came on the list.
Top 3 strategies used to “target academic support”
Schools used 120 different strategies (or variations of them) to target academic support. For reference, this DfE category included things like tutoring, one-to-one support structured interventions.
In light of the barriers above and the roll out of the National Tutoring Programme, the top 3 won’t surprise you here either:
Tuition (mentioned 43 times) - which varied by contract type, subject focus, group size and more.
Intervention (mentioned 37 times) - which varied by subject, year group, key stage and time of year.
Literacy (mentioned 22 times) - schools invested a lot in this area including but not limited to: training staff, employing literacy coordinators, appointing faculty literacy leads, employing tutors and running catch up and intervention sessions.
Read the full article to learn where strategies like reading, revision and homework came on the list.
Meet the schools, download their plans and read their evidence and evaluations.
To save you time looking up successful schools, visiting their websites and downloading their strategies, I’ve done that for you in few databases like the one above.
Remember context is key. What worked in their schools might not work in yours. Be sure to read the evaluations schools wrote and the follow the evidence they cited to help you decide.
I hope they provide stimulus for conversation about how you help your disadvantaged students achieve the best possible outcomes. Or at least give you a starting point to compare how others wrote up their strategies.
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