Book Review: The Pupil Premium

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Advantage Disadvantage

What’s next on your reading list?

I have recently read and want to recommend An Updated Practical Guide to the Pupil Premium by Marc Rowland.

Whether you are a complete newcomer to the Pupil Premium initiative (e.g. new governor) or an experienced leader, teacher or governor, this guide gives a comprehensive overview to what Sir John Dunford calls “the best educational policy ever”.

It is clearly written, logically set out and through its case studies, ideas sharing, checklists and analytical tools delivers on its assertion to be practical. Most importantly, what underpins the guide is an emphasis on evidence of impact.

Together with the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) its greatest service to classroom teachers is the principle of using a “test and learn” approach. If it doesn’t work – ditch it.

It’s All About The Evidence

Too often new ideas/approaches are persisted with despite a lack of empirical evidence.

As Rowland says,

“Evaluation (is) about finding out whether something has worked. Celebrate a teacher finding out that an initiative has not worked – it means you save time and energy.”

Dropping things for which there is no evidence of positive impact has been a feature of several blogs and articles on Teacher Toolkit. This book supports that stance.

Closing the attainment gap between the disadvantaged and the rest by raising the performance of the former is a real challenge for schools.

You can watch Marc Rowland’s recent work helping to create a Pupil Premium toolkit for Essex Schools below.

This book provides the context to help schools better understand, ideas and examples to help them take action. It advocates the use of evidence to help them focus on what works and should be essential reading for all.

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