All posts by schoolclerkuk

50,000 extra pupils eligible for free school meals under new Government proposals – Friday 17 November 2017

This week I report on the Government’s consultation on a new earnings threshold for pupils eligible for free school meals, the announcement of the coasting schools measure for 2017, new health eating guidance for the early years sector and new KS3 and 4 lesson plans on surviving terror attacks.

An ‘extra 50,000 pupils’ eligible for free school meals under new Government proposals
The Government estimates an extra 50,000 pupils will receive free school meals under proposals for a new earnings threshold put out for consultation yesterday.  Under the proposals, developed in response to the roll-out of the new benefits system, pupils from universal credit-claiming households with incomes of up to £24,000 will be eligible for free school meals. This is higher than the £16,200 earnings threshold that currently entitles pupils to free meals.

Universal credit is currently being rolled out in some areas of the country, replacing several different benefits that currently dictate which pupils can claim free school meals. This also affects schools’ pupil premium funding, which is based on free school meals’ claimant numbers.

2017 ‘coasting schools’ threshold announced
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced the 2017 threshold for the ‘coasting schools’ measure, which is the same as it was in 2016. The coasting measure looks at a school’s performance over 3 years, so for schools to be classed as ‘coasting’ they will need to fall below the thresholds for 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Schools defined as coasting by the Government can be targeted for intervention. For local authority maintained schools, this could include forced transfer to an academy sponsor, while coasting academies could face being re-brokered to a new sponsor.

Healthy eating guidance published for the early years sector
The DfE, together with the Department of Health and Public Health England, has published new example menus and recipes to support early years providers with planning healthy meals for children, and to help them meet the EYFS framework welfare requirements.

New lesson plans on surviving terror attacks
Advice for pupils on how to survive terrorist gun and knife attacks is to be made available to schools across the country for the first time. Lesson plans for Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils have been produced by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) and the PSHE Association, and are backed by the Department for Education.

The materials are an extension of the government’s Run, Hide, Tell campaign and address the threat of terrorist attacks in crowded places. A separate lesson plan has been devised by St John Ambulance. Called TREAT, it aims to teach pupils life-saving first-aid techniques to use if they need to help someone who has been stabbed or shot.

 

 

Study finds lesson observations made no difference to pupils’ GCSE results – Friday 10 November 2017

This week I report on the results of a study that found a structured lesson observation programme made no difference to pupils’ GCSE Maths and English results, the publication of the STA’s report on cases of maladministration of the SATs in 2016, data from NASEN indicating more children with SEN are being pushed out of mainstream schools into special schools and the launch of KS3 and KS4 resources to support PSHE delivery around health and wellbeing in schools.

New research casts doubt on impact of teacher peer observations
A new study has found that a structured lesson observation programme, aimed at helping teachers learn from each other, made no difference to pupils’ GCSE Maths and English results.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded an evaluation of the University of Bristol’s Teacher Observation intervention following a US study which had found that structured lesson observation led to gains in student and teacher performance. The study was conducted in 82 English secondary schools over two years with one group of teachers asked to carry out at least 3 (recommended to carry out 6) observations per year and the other group asked to carry out at least 4 (recommended to carry out 12) observations per year.

The programme, evaluated by the National Foundation for Educational Research, found no impact on English and Maths GCSE scores and also pointed out that many teachers failed to complete the recommended number of observations. In the US where an impact had been seen, lesson observation was linked with professional development, outside observers and annual performance bonuses, none of which were used in the English trial.

Government investigated 524 cases of SAT maladministration in 2016
The Standards and Testing Agency’s latest report into maladministration in the 2016 primary SATs exams confirmed they had investigated 524 cases in total. Investigations into the maladministration of Key Stage 1 tests increased by more than 50% while 65 sets of Key Stage 2 exam results were either annulled or amended.

The term “maladministration” refers to any act that could jeopardise the “integrity, security or confidentiality” of the tests and lead to results that “do not reflect the unaided abilities and achievements of pupils”. This includes incorrectly opening test papers, cheating pupils, or test administrators offering too much help to children. It can also refer to changes made to test scripts by someone other than the pupil, or the inflation or deflation of teacher assessment judgements.

It’s not possible to say how many schools are affected, as one school can have multiple exams annulled or amended. Half of the 524 cases were based on schools reporting themselves to the STA, in 18% of cases the Council reported the problem and 14% were reported anonymously.

New data shows SEND pupils ‘pushed out’ of mainstream schools
Data published by the National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN) has revealed that more pupils with statements of special educational needs or education health and care plans (EHCPs) are being “pushed out” of mainstream schools into special schools.

The charity’s analysis of Government statistics also showed that there had been increased pressure on special needs schools to take on more pupils over the past decade. The proportion of pupils with statements or EHCPs in special schools rose from 36% in 2007 to 44% this year. Other pupils in these schools need SEN support but don’t have a formalised statement.

Public Health England launches ‘Rise Above’ lesson plans for support in PSHE
This week Public Health England launched a series of lessons plans which are designed to support PSHE delivery around health and wellbeing in schools in KS3 and KS4. With topics including cyberbullying, exam stress and body image in a digital world there are a range of activities with accompanying films/videos that teachers can use.

 

 

Consultation on ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ – Friday 3 November 2017

This week I report on the launch of the consultation on changes to statutory guidance on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, new pilot programmes on promoting flexible working for teachers and the opening of the Institute for Teaching which will provide bespoke training programmes for teachers.

Working Together to Safeguarding Children
The DfE has released a consultation on changes to the statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ and new related regulations.

The consultation, seeks views on significant revisions to the guidance, which sets out what is expected of organisations, individually and jointly, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. These revisions are being made largely to reflect the legislative changes introduced through the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

DfE pledges new flexible working support
Earlier this week the Education Secretary brought together leading figures from the education sector and the world of business at the first Flexible Working in Schools Summit. She announced new pilot programmes looking at employing teachers flexibly and coaching schemes for women who work in education.

The Government is also publishing a new ‘myth buster’ to help school leaders with questions on recruiting for positions with flexible hours.

Opening of the Institute for Teaching
Yesterday, the Education Secretary opened the Institute for Teaching which has received Government funding to set up bespoke training programmes for teachers at all stage of their careers.

The Institute will operate mainly in the North and central England, including in the Education Secretary’s Opportunity Areas which have been identified as social mobility ‘cold spots’.  The first eight projects to benefit from the fund have now been announced and include programmes focused on leadership, managing challenging pupil behaviour, improving the quality of teaching and phonics.

EYFS development levels improve nationally – 21 October 2017

This week I report on the 2017 EYFS results, updated guidance on Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch up premium funding, new model private notices and the latest data on pupil absence rates.

Improvement in EYFS development levels
On Thursday the DfE published the 2017 Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) profile results. The results show an increase in the percentage of children achieving “a good level of development” and a decreasing gender gap that continues to see girls outperform boys overall, but with boys improving at a faster rate.

70.7% of pupils met the department’s definition of  a good level of development based on achieving expected levels within communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy and mathematics. While 69% of pupils, an increase of 1.7% when compared to 2016, achieved at least expected in all 17 learning goals, which are the knowledge, skills and understanding pupils are expected to have by the end of the academic year in which they turn five.

Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding and guidance
On Tuesday the DfE updated its guidance on strategies schools can use to spend the Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium effectively. The funding is provided to support those Year 7 pupils that didn’t achieve the expected standard in reading or maths at the end of Key Stage 2,

The DfE also confirmed that this year schools will receive the same amount of Year 7 catch-up premium funding as they received in 2016-17 (with some variation based on difference in cohort size). Like the pupil premium, Governors should ensure that they receive information on how the funding is spent and that the report is published on the school’s website.

New model privacy notices issued by the DfE
Late last week the DfE released updated model privacy notices for schools and local authorities to issue to staff, parents and pupils about the collection of data. The documents let relevant stakeholders know how schools process data and how personal data about themselves can be accessed.

The model privacy notices were updated to help schools comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which as you are all aware comes into force on 25 May 2018. Schools need to ensure compliance with the GDPR or risk substantial financial penalties from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

Further information is available on the ICO’s website and there is a free webinar on how to implement the GDPR in schools available on the Browne Jacobson website. As you are also aware the LA is offering a new SLA which you can access via the LA’s SLA online portal .

DfE latest data release on pupil absence rates
The DfE has published the latest data on pupil absence rates in England, covering the period Autumn 2016 to Autumn 2017. Key findings from the data are:

  • overall absence rates are relatively stable, increasing by 0.1% between 2015/16 and 2016/17
  • the number of unauthorised absences has risen by 0.2%, partly “due to increased levels of unauthorised family holiday and other unauthorised absence”
  • the number of persistently absent children has risen by 0.1%
  • as in previous years, the most common reason for absence was illness (60.1% of all absences)

 

Provisional 2017 KS4 data published – Friday 13 October 2017

This week I report on the release of the provisional secondary school data for 2017, the publication of the Government’s Race Disparity Audit and what it tells us about education attainment and new non statutory guidance on the storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals in schools.

Provisional Key Stage 4 data and updated information guides
The DfE has released provisional secondary school data for 2017 and published provisional performance tables. It has also updated the accompanying guidance documents outlining how the accountability measures have been calculated in 2017, as well as providing more information about recently announced reforms that will apply to accountability measures in 2018 and 2019.

Publication of Government’s Race Disparity audit
The Prime Minister launched the ‘Ethnicity Facts and Figures’ website on Tuesday and the summary findings from the website were published examining how people of different backgrounds are treated across areas including health, education, employment and the criminal justice system.

In relation to education attainment data shows there are disparities in primary school which increase in secondary school, with Chinese and Asian pupils tending to perform well and White and Black pupils doing less well, particularly those eligible for free school meals.  Alongside publication of the report, the Government launched a programme of work to tackle some of the disparities identified in the audit. The DfE will take forward an external review to improve practice in exclusions. This will share best practice nationwide, and focus on the experiences of those groups who are disproportionately likely to be excluded.

Guidance on storing and disposing of hazardous chemicals in schools
This week the DfE published new non-statutory guidance providing practical advice for teachers, technicians and other members of staff involved in the delivery of practical science, including the purchase, storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals.  It is a useful document for school governing bodies.

 

Education Secretary outlines plans to provide opportunity for all – Friday 6 October 2017

This week I report on the Education Secretary’s plans to provide opportunity for all and ensure the country has the skills needed for a post-Brexit economy, provide a summary of the education highlights from the Conservative and Labour Party conferences and information on a new Mental Health Award for schools.

Measures to provide opportunity for all and build the skills needed for our economy
The Education Secretary Justine Greening has announced a series of measures to “provide opportunity for all and ensure we are building the skills needed to secure the nation’s prosperity”.

  • Additional support for University students – raising the earning threshold for student loan repayments from £21,000 to £25,000 and freezing tuition fees for 2018/19 at their current rate.
  • Getting great teachers in schools that need them the most – piloting a new student loan reimbursement programme for science and Modern Foreign Language (MFL) teachers targeted in the areas of the country that needs them most. Piloting new style bursaries in maths with upfront payments of £20k and early retention payments of £5k in the 3rd and 5th year of a teacher’s career. £30 million investment in tailored support for schools that struggle the most with recruitment and retention. Supporting trainer providers (including Multi Academy Trusts) with Northern Powerhouse funding to expand their reach in to challenging areas in the North that don’t currently have enough provision
  • Tackling inequality and boosting opportunity across the country – tackling the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers through a new national network of English hubs across the country with a specific focus on improving early language and literacy.  £6 million further investment to expand Maths Hubs to more challenging areas. The latest round of the £140 million Strategic School Improvement Fund to include a new focus on boosting literacy and numeracy skills in Reception year.  £5 million investment to trial evidence-based home learning environment (HLE) support programmes in the North of England which focus on early language and literacy.
  • Plans to transform alternative provision – working with school leaders, parents and local authorities to ensure it’s fit for purpose and ensures every child has access to good education, regardless of their background or their ability.
  • Building the next generation of skills needed for the economy to thrive in a modern, post-Brexit economy – diversifying the training and quality of qualifications on offer and ensuring the country remains at the forefront of higher education.

Education highlights from the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences 
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister addressing her party conference in Manchester, promised to continue the free schools programme and highlighted her concerns about the north-south divide in education. She reiterated the pledge to build 100 new free schools every year this Parliament.

Last week the Labour Party held their annual conference in Brighton with the Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner setting out the principles of a National Education Service – a cradle to the grave system that will set out the education that people can expect throughout their lives. Priorities included free high quality childcare for every 2 to 4-year-old, the implementation of a fairer funding formula, an end to the public sector pay cap, bringing back national standards for Teaching Assistants and support staff and investing £8bn in new school buildings and providing £13bn for existing school estates.

Ms Rayner did not elaborate on Labour’s plans for the free school system, nor did she provide any clarity on where the money would be found to fund the proposals.

New kitemark to show schools taking mental health ‘seriously’
Leeds Beckett University’s Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools has launched an award scheme to help schools show they are “taking issues of mental health and wellbeing seriously”.

The award aims to improve pupil and staff self-confidence, resilience and mental health. Improve pupil outcomes.  Create a culture of awareness of mental health, tolerance and acceptance, helping to reduce behavioural problems and promotes positive mental health strategies.

The award takes a whole school approach and covers eight key areas, each with a series of statements that the school will use to self-evaluate their current practice.  The school will work with associates from the centre who will help them to ensure that they meet a set of criteria through the development of a portfolio of evidence. The evidence will be verified against the three levels of bronze, silver and gold.  The cost of the award is £350 and it’s valid for 3 years.

 

Ofsted consultation on short term inspections – Friday 29 September 2017

This week I report on Ofsted’s consultation on short inspections, the publication of its new 5 year corporate strategy and re-examination of the validity of its lesson observations; the publication of KS1 and Phonics Screening Check data and Governors responsibilities under the new General Data Protection Regulation.

Ofsted consults on short term inspections and publishes its new 5 year corporate strategy
Ofsted has launched a second consultation on short inspections which is “aimed at bringing greater clarity” to the process. Currently, during a short inspection, the lead inspector can call for a full inspection where they feel a school may not retain its ‘good’ rating, or where it could improve to ‘outstanding’ – the full inspection is normally conducted within 48 hours.  The proposals set out in the new consultation are that:

  • where short inspections pick up serious concerns, they will continue to convert to full inspections within 48 hours.
  • where, following a short inspection, inspectors are not confident that the school remains ‘good’ but “the standard of education remains acceptable, and there are no concerns about safeguarding or behaviour”, the inspection will not convert. The school will receive a letter setting out the inspection findings and a full inspection will take place within 1 to 2 years. It will remain a ‘good’ school.
  • where, following a short inspection, inspectors believe the school may be ‘outstanding’, the inspection will not convert. As above, the inspection findings will be set out in a letter, the school will remain ‘good’, and a full inspection will take place within 1 to 2 years.

Ofsted is also bringing back its “state-of-the-nation” reports and will inspect more ‘outstanding’ schools, according to a new corporate strategy released today on its 25th anniversary. In its new five year corporate strategy that will run until 2022, the inspectorate says it will publish more “national survey reports and research” that “aggregate the insights from inspections”.

Ofsted is looking to re-examine the validity of its lesson observations and is holding an international seminar at the start of November, bringing together experts in lesson observation from around the world. Ofsted will then look at the different systems being used, and debate which is the most valid, and how it might incorporate these systems into what it does.

Publication of Key Stage 1 and Phonics Screening Check data
Figures published yesterday indicated that 81% of pupils had met the expected standard at the end of Year 1 in 2017 – up from 58% in 2012. Those who did not reach the standard in Year 1 took the Phonics Check again in Year 2, with 92% of seven year olds then reaching the standard.

Alongside the results of the Phonics Screening Check, the DfE also published national data for Key Stage 1 (KS1), showing that the proportion of 7 year olds reaching the expected standard has increased across reading, writing and maths. This year, 76% of pupils reached the KS1 expected standard in reading, 68% of pupils in writing and 75% of pupils in maths.

Impact of the General Data Protection Regulation
From 25 May 2018, the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) will be replaced by the new more stringent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). All governing bodies need to be aware of their obligations under the new regulation and will be required to show compliance with the GDPR. The key changes introduced by the GDPR include the following:

  • It will be mandatory for schools to appoint a designated Data Protection Officer.
  • Non-compliance will see tough penalties; school will face fines of up to £20 million or 4% of their turnover.
  • It is the school’s responsibility to ensure 3rd parties (i.e. catering services, software providers etc) that process data for them also comply with GDPR.

The GDPR is intended to strengthen and unify the safety and security of all data held by all types of organisations. The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a 12-step checklist to help prepare for the changes. In addition, the Local Authority’s Information Governance Team has introduced a Service Level Agreement that schools can purchase to assist them in implementing GDPR.

 

Literacy key to Science attainment – Friday 22 September 2017

Evidence of the link between literacy skills and science attainment, two new reports highlighting concerns around young peoples mental health and news of a parliamentary inquiry into Pupil Referral Units make up this week’s Friday Update.

New research pinpoints literacy as strongest indicator of science grades 
Good literacy skills are crucial to closing the attainment gap in science subjects according to a report published yesterday by the Education Endowment Foundation. The University of Oxford researchers behind the report concluded that the strongest factor affecting pupils’ science scores is how well they understand written texts.

According to the report, poor literacy skills can affect how well a pupil is able to understand scientific vocabulary and to prepare scientific reports. This suggests that strategies to boost disadvantaged pupils’ reading comprehension could have a positive impact on their achievement in science too.

Young people’s mental health highlighted in two powerful new reports
Research from the UCL Institute of Education and the University of Liverpool on Wednesday found almost one quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) are depressed at age 14.

The research was also highlighted by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families which published a survey of primary school teachers in England as part of its You’re never too young to talk mental health campaign, which found that many teachers do not feel adequately trained to support children with mental health problems.

Parliamentary investigation into ‘Additional Provision’
The House of Commons Education Committee has launched a new inquiry looking at Alternative Provision, and whether young people in Pupil Referral Units and others types of alternative provision receive the best quality of education.

In launching the inquiry, the Committee’s Chair, Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP commented that “Students in alternative provision are far less likely to achieve good exam results, find well-paid jobs or go on to further study. Only around 1% of young people in state alternative provision receive five good GCSEs.”

The Committee, which includes Gateshead MP Ian Mearns among its 11 members, has issued a public call for evidence for the inquiry which is examining:

  • Routes into alternative provision
  • The quality of teaching in alternative provision (including pupil referral units)
  • Educational outcomes and destinations of students;Safety, accommodation, and provision of resources for students
  • In-school alternatives to external alternative provision;Regulation of independent providers

More information on the inquiry is available on the Committee’s website.

Confirmation of the national funding formula – Friday 15 September 2017

This week I report on the Government’s confirmation of the new national funding formula, changes to the primary assessment system and the scrapping of P-scales for assessment of pupils working below national curriculum level.

Confirmation of the national funding formula
This week Justine Greening, the Education Secretary announced that primary schools will get at least £3,500 for every pupil on their roll from 2019/20, an extension of the £4,800 per-pupil funding guarantee for secondary schools that was announced in July. However, she later clarified that the formula was only “notional” and that the actual levels of funding for the first two years for each school would be reviewed and distributed by local authorities based on their own factors.

Every school in England will also receive a lump sum of £110,000 to help with fixed costs, and there is also a £26 million fund to help “rural and isolated” schools to manage their “unique challenges”.

Changes to the primary assessment system
Yesterday the Education Secretary announced changes to the primary assessment system stating, “These changes will free up teachers to educate and inspire young children while holding schools to account in a proportionate and effective way.” She confirmed the DfE will:

  • introduce a new teacher-mediated assessment in the Reception year from 2020 to provide a baseline measure to better track pupils’ progress during primary school. The check, which will be developed in conjunction with the teaching profession, will ensure schools are given credit for all the work they do throughout a child’s time at primary school;
  • improve the Early Years Foundation Stage profile – a check on a child’s school readiness at the end of their early years education. This includes reviewing supporting guidance, to reduce burdens for teachers;
  • make Key Stage 1 tests and assessments non-statutory from 2023 and remove the requirement for schools to submit teacher assessment data to the Government for reading and maths at the end of Key Stage 2, as these subjects are already assessed through statutory tests, from 2018/19;
  • introduce a multiplication tables check to aid children’s fluency in mathematics from 2019/20;
  • improve teacher assessment of English writing by giving teachers greater scope to use their professional judgement when assessing pupils at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 from the current academic year (2017/18).

Removal of P-scales for assessment of pupils working below national curriculum level
This week the Government also confirmed it had accepted the final recommendations from last year’s Rochford Review looking at how pupils who are working below the standard of the national curriculum tests should be assessed.

The statutory requirement for teachers to use performance scales (P-scales) to assess pupils with SEND who are not working at the standard of national curriculum assessments will be removed from the 2018/19 academic year, to allow the Government to make the necessary changes to legislation.

In its consultation response to the review, the Government said it would make interim pre-key stage standards, which assess ability in reading, writing and mathematics, permanent for all pupils engaged in subject-specific learning. For the pupils who are not engaged in subject-specific learning, which is a small number of pupils nationally, the Government will pilot using seven areas of cognition and learning instead of P-scales.

 

 

 

Provisional data KS2 SATS – Friday 8 September 2017

WELCOME BACK TO A NEW SCHOOL YEAR

This week I report on the provisional data for KS2 tests taken this summer, the increased funding for the PE and Sports premium, a free webinar on implementing the GDPR in schools and new research on the attainment gap between pupil premium pupils and their peers.

Primary school performance and accountability
The DfE has published provisional data about attainment in the 2017 Key Stage 2 tests taken this summer. 61% of pupils reached the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics. This is an increase on 53% in 2016, which was the first year that pupils were tested on the new curriculum.

Alongside these statistics, the DfE has updated its primary school accountability guidance with confirmation of the 2017 floor standard. In 2017, a school will be above the floor if either of these conditions are met:

  • at least 65% of pupils meet the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics
  • the school achieves progress scores of at least -5 in reading, -7 in writing and -5 in mathematics (all three subjects)

The coasting definition for 2017 is expected to be published later this term.

Rate of funding doubles for the PE and sports premium
Just after the end of the last school year the DfE released the latest rate of funding for the PE and sports premium in primary schools, and due to the levy on soft drinks which was introduced in 2017, the rate of funding has doubled when compared to 2016.

Schools will now receive £1,000 per pupil (if there are 16 or fewer in a school) or £16,000 (with 17 or more pupils) and an additional £10 per pupil. This money can be used for a range of sporting and exercise activities in schools, but can’t be used to “teach the minimum requirements of the national curriculum” or “employ coaches or specialist teachers to cover planning preparation and assessment (PPA) arrangements”.

Like the pupil premium, governors are responsible for ensuring that this money is well spent.

How to implement GDPR in your school webinar
From May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will apply to all schools and some governing bodies are starting to think about what this will mean. Browne Jacobson (the National Governance Association’s legal partner) is giving a free webinar on the GDPR and how this will impact schools across the country. The webinar will look at the approach schools should be taking to reach GDPR compliance and will cover:

  • Where does the responsibility for GDPR lie and who should be the Data Protection Officer (DPO)?
  • What does ‘explicit consent’ mean and how is ‘personal data’ defined?
  • What do we need to audit?
  • Will GDPR be a priority for Ofsted?
  • What are the risks and costs to our school?

The webinar will take place on Tuesday 12 September at 4.00 p.m. To register, use this link to go to Browne Jacobson’s website.

Closing the gap? Research on disadvantage and achievement
Research conducted by the Education Policy Institute was published in early August and found that if current trends continue it will take around 50 years for the gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and their peers to close completely.

The report looked at the attainment gap between pupils eligible for pupil premium and their peers at the end of key stages throughout their time in school. Key findings include:

  • between 2007 and 2016, the attainment gap as measured at the end of secondary school has narrowed by 3 months – but the gap for persistently disadvantaged pupils has widened slightly by 0.3 months
  • disadvantaged pupils were on average 19.3 months behind their peers by the time they took their GCSEs (in 2016)
  • there are variations between regions and local authority areas, with the biggest attainment gap found in the Isle of Wight (29 months) and the smallest in the London boroughs of Southwark, Wandsworth and Tower Hamlets (7 months)

Governors should ensure that they consider the progress of disadvantaged pupils (in comparison to other pupils in their school and nationally) when assessing the impact of their school’s pupil premium spending.