Time is short for disadvantaged pupils in our schools to realise their potential, so it is more vital than ever that the decisions about using the funding are part of an effective strategy. While accelerating the progress of disadvantaged pupils can be complex, schools in every region – including Pupil Premium Award-winners, Teaching Schools and high achieving schools – are delivering high standards for disadvantaged pupils every year.

Since their introduction in 2013, Pupil Premium Reviews have helped hundreds of schools to refine their work with disadvantaged pupils and spend the Pupil Premium more effectively. Good reviews are normally associated with improved pupil outcomes. Evidence is at the heart of this drive for effectiveness and an evidence-based approach will assess the effectiveness of a school’s pupil premium strategy and identify how it might be refined to make greater impact. This will normally involve adjusting the way the funding is used.

Schools should consider how a Pupil Premium review best fits with their on-going cycle of improvement to identify when they would most benefit from the fresh perspective of an experienced system leader. A review will be a priority for any school where disadvantaged pupils are failing to progress to their expected attainment. All schools, however, will find that a reviewer will offer new approaches or  improve the implementation of existing strategies.

Leicester Teaching School has a panel of qualified Pupil Premium Reviewers.

An effective review will usually take three and a half days. This includes a day of preparatory work in advance, a day spent in the school under review, a day for the reviewer to complete the necessary analysis and write up the findings and recommendations (the action plan) and then a further half-day follow-up visit.