Evidence has shown that children from disadvantaged backgrounds generally face extra challenges in reaching their potential at school and often do not perform as well as their peers.
This is according to an October 2019 paper from the Department of Education on how the pupil premium can support publicly-funded schools in England to improve the attainment levels of disadvantaged pupils.
The paper recommends:
- Funds should be allocated to schools for every pupil who claims and previously claimed free school meals. In addition, the same should go for looked-after and previously looked-after children, to improve their attainment.
- Academically able pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are at most risk of under-performing, thus should be focused on just as much as pupils with low results.
- The pupil premium is most effective through a tiered approach to spending. This approach should target spending across 3 areas, including teaching, academic support and non-academic approaches, with a focus on teaching quality.