Introducing the Pupil Premium Toolkit

An evidence-based guide for schools in England, developed by researchers at Durham University, has helped ensure that billions of pounds worth of education spending is used effectively to support disadvantaged pupils.

Pupil premium

The Pupil Premium Toolkit provides guidance to schools on how to spend their Pupil Premium, a government funding stream worth £6.25 billion between 2011 and 2015, aimed at tackling the effects of poverty on attainment.

Recognising that there is no simple link between more spending and better learning, researchers devised the Toolkit to address the difficulties schools face in deciding how to spend this resource effectively. It does this by comparing the cost-effectiveness of different teaching approaches in schools, which can range from intensive tuition sessions for small groups to summer schools or specialised training for staff.

Using practical, concise language, the comparisons are shown in the extra months of development seen in children if these approaches are adopted and  delivered effectively. Endorsed by bodies such as the National Association of Head Teachers, the Toolkit is used by more than a third of school leaders in England in determining their spending priorities and to review their support for disadvantaged children.

The Toolkit has also directly influenced Government spending and policy. In 2013 it was identified as a model for the ‘What Works’ network for social policy, which will inform over £200 billion of Government spending.

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