Study gives advice on pupil premium

Written by: HTU | Published:

Reducing classroom numbers and employing more teaching assistants are not effective ways of spending the new pupil premium, a report has said.

Reducing classroom numbers and employing more teaching assistants are not effective ways of spending the new pupil premium, a report has said.



The Sutton Trust this week published a guide developed by academics at Durham University and based on a range of educational research into raising achievement.



Entitled A Toolkit of Strategies to Improve Learning: Summary for Schools Spending the Pupil Premium, the guide assesses 20 approaches to improving learning and estimates the progress that an average student might expect to make under each strategy.



It claims that the benefits for reducing class sizes are not obvious until you reach at least 20 or even 15 in a class and also maintains that hiring more teaching assistants would have a “very small or no effect on attainment".



However, it says that focusing on effective and fast student feedback is 124 times more cost-effective than reducing class sizes. From September, the pupil premium is to be allocated to pupils eligible for free school meals, although the government hopes to extend the premium to students who had previously been on free school meals by the end of 2012/13.



The idea is for schools to use the cash to increase social mobility and aspirations for these students, while reducing the attainment gap. Initially, the amount for each pupil will be £430 but could possibly rise to as much as £1,750 by 2014/15.



For more information on the toolkit, visit www.suttontrust.com


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