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What are the best Pupil Premium Strategies? Q&A with Nigel Bishop

Nigel Bishop, National Education Trainer and Consultant talks about what he considers to be the best pupil premium strategies.

How have you built up your expertise in the use of Pupil Premium?

I’ve spent about half of my life working in education, as a teacher, deputy and head, most of that time being in deprived areas of Grimsby and Cleethorpes.  For the last six and a half years I’ve enjoyed the privilege of being a consultant and trainer, supporting schools and academies with their use of the Pupil Premium grant, as well as developing their use of support staff. I have always been interested in data, and I try to share with colleagues the ways in which it can be used to target actions and approaches and demonstrate the impact of strategies chosen to enable pupils to reach their potential.

How important is the school phase when leaders and managers are thinking about their Pupil Premium strategy?

I’ve worked in well over two hundred schools in the last six years, including pre-schools, primaries, secondaries and special schools, and leaders universally tell me that the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of learning support are the two most important factors influencing the education that their children and young people receive.

What are the key expectations of Ofsted and the DfE in relation to Early Years Premium and Pupil Premium strategies?

  • The money should be targeted at all of the eligible pupils regardless of ability (although I invariably find during Pupil Premium reviews that a much greater proportion of PP pupils have SEN than their non-PP peers).
  • Actions and approaches should be chosen based on external or in-school evidence of their likely effectiveness, including the use of limited trials and control groups where appropriate.
  • School leaders should be able to demonstrate the effect (impact) of their PPG spending in diminishing differences between those in receipt of PPG and other pupils, both within the school or academy and nationally.

Since September 2016 there has been an expectation that a clear rationale and its impact on both eligible and non-eligible pupils must be reported annually, and for this purpose a strategy document on the school or academy’s website should provide a clear and concise summary of all aspects of PPG provision.