Supporting the attainment of disadvantaged pupils: articulating success and good practice
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Shona Macleod, Caroline Sharp, Dr Daniele Bernardinelli, Amy Skipp and Professor Steve Higgins

This report, commissioned by the Department for Education, investigates differences between schools in the performance of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. By comparing more and less successful schools, the study identified seven building blocks for success.

It suggests that schools need to promote an ethos of attainment for all pupils: rather than stereotyping disadvantaged pupils as a group with less potential to succeed, there should be individualised programmes in place to help address barriers to learning. This more individualised approach to teaching support should be complemented by developing the skills and roles of teachers and teaching assistants, rather than using additional staff who do not know the pupils well.

All of this should be underpinned by clear, responsive leadership, which sets high aspirations and devolves responsibility for raising attainment to all staff, rather than accepting low aspirations and variable performances.

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Shona Macleod, Caroline Sharp, Dr Daniele Bernardinelli, Amy Skipp and Professor Steve Higgins

Published by:
Department for Education (DfE)

Date of publication:
November 2015

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Examining the effectiveness of learning support for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, this report will prove interesting for policy workers concerned with social equality, and may also be useful for school leaders with recommendations on how to improve what their schools offer. 


Record ID:
R138 / 195
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