Research School Network: Unpacking the New EEF Pupil Premium Guide An interesting overview of the new EEF guidance relating to Pupil Premium.


Unpacking the New EEF Pupil Premium Guide

An interesting overview of the new EEF guidance relating to Pupil Premium.

by Norfolk Research School
on the

Over a quarter of children in England are currently eligible for Pupil Premium funding, equating to 2.2 million pupils. This number has risen by 100,000 since last year, according to recent findings by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). Over the last 12 years, schools have been able to access this extra funding in order to further support children, however the link between socio-economic disadvantage and educational achievement persists.

The Pupil Premium is a powerful tool, but like all tools, its effectiveness lies largely in the hands that wield it. Formed in 2011, the same year as the Pupil Premium was introduced, the EEF has spent the last twelve years focused on supporting schools with the herculean task of targeting this money where it will have the most impact on outcomes for pupils.

The updated EEF Guide to the Pupil Premium
reflects much of this experience- taking the most impactful strategies and delivering them in a format that is easily digested by time-poor schools, and draws together familiar models, such as the Tiered Approach to school improvement, with a five ‑point plan that indicates evidence-informed strategies to help build a longer term, sustainable plan for improving outcomes.

The Tiered Approach aligns with the Department for Education’s template, as well as its menu of approaches” and focuses schools on ensuring that children are accessing high quality teaching as an absolute essential. This, supported by targeted interventions and wider school strategies is the most direct and impactful way to disrupt the patterns of data outlined earlier.

The Guide then takes us through a five step approach that echoes the EEF’s approach to implementation:

Step 1
: Carefully exploring and diagnosing needs at a forensic level

Step 2:
Using an evidence-informed, systematic approach to finding solutions for the issues identified. Within this step is a handy infographic which demonstrates how the EEF take differing types of Evidence into Action.

PP blog RWI

This step also signposts to useful resources for finding strategies that could work for schools, such as the EEF Teaching and Learning and Early Years Toolkits, as well as local Research Schools.

Step 3: Aligning with the statutory guidance, it then supports leaders to develop an effective strategy.

Step 4: Implementing carefully, considering this as a process, not an event, and drawing attention to the climate within which this will be taking place.

Step 5: Monitoring and evaluating in a considered, intentional way across the lifespan of the strategy. This is of crucial importance at all stages of implementation, from the fragile, fledgling time just after launch, to managing the risk of dropping off or being adapted beyond recognition later on.

The Guide also highlights the role school governors play in supporting the monitoring and evaluation of an effective Pupil Premium strategy.

The success and support of our Pupil Premium children is not just the job of school leaders- it requires ongoing effort from everybody involved, and in particular from the teachers who will stand in front of them each day. However, we know that initiatives work best when there is clear and intentional thinking behind them and the Guide is an approachable, fuss free and genuinely useful aide to schools doing just that.

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