Strengthen the link between the Pupil Premium and teaching, says new EEF guide

Schools should strengthen the link between the Pupil Premium and teaching, including through prioritising the recruitment, retention and development of effective teachers, according to a new guide on the Pupil Premium published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) today.

The guide is published on the same day as a major speech by the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds. In the speech, he reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the Pupil Premium and emphasised the need to spread what works to schools across the country.

The EEF’s guide to the Pupil Premium aims to support schools in spending their Pupil Premium to maximise the benefit for their students.

The report recommends school take a tiered approach to Pupil Premium spending. It recommends that teaching should be the top priority, including professional development, training and support for early career teachers and recruitment and retention.

Targeted support for struggling pupils should also be a key component of an effective Pupil Premium strategy, as well as strategies that relate to non-academic factors including attendance, behaviour and social and emotional support.

The report outlines five key principles for Pupil Premium spending, including the importance of evidence and the need to support disadvantaged middle and high attainers.

It also includes case studies of inspiring schools, who have used their Pupil Premium to transform outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. For example, Springfield Junior School created additional time and space to prioritise continuing professional development for its teachers and support staff. Last year 90% of their Year 6 Pupil Premium children achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths.

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:

Giving every young person the best start in life, whatever their background and wherever they come from, is a mission that unites teachers. By acknowledging the relationship between family income and educational success, the Pupil Premium cuts right to the heart of the reason most of us became educators.

It’s great to see the Secretary of State emphasise the Government’s commitment to the policy. The Pupil Premium is the key lever for closing the attainment gap and greater security of funding supports schools to plan ahead with confidence. We know that it has enabled headteachers to focus attention and make a difference for their most disadvantaged pupils. This is achieving results in schools across England, but there is undoubtedly more to do to.

We’ve published new guidance to help schools spend their Pupil Premium to maximise the benefit for their students. Crucially, we want to strengthen the ways the premium can be spent to recruit, retain and develop great teachers for all children.

  1. Updated: 14th June, 2019

    EEF Guide to the Pupil Premium