05 SES 01, Student (Dis-)Engagement : Narratives, Attitudes towards Services and Supports, and Educational Programme Choice (1)
Confidential: The report on which this abstract is based is not yet in the public domain. This abstract is for review purposes only, therefore, and it should not be used or reported in any other way.
There have been varied European solutions to the educational underachievement of children and families in economically disadvantaged families. Many have been individual initiatives such as parenting programmes or programmes in particular curriculum areas such as reading. There has also been a history of integrated area-based approaches such as: England’s extended schools and Education Action Zones (EAZ); Berlin’s 'One Square Kilometre of Education'; Flanders’ initiatives for local communities; or the Netherlands’ integrated children’s centres.
Over the past 10-15 years, England has experienced multiple centrally-driven initiatives to tackle educational disadvantage. However, the advent of a new centre-right coalition government in 2010 has resulted in a move in some aspects of education policy away from centrally-driven initiatives and towards decision-making at the local – and p[artyicularly school – level. In line with this development, the ‘Pupil Premium’ is part of an overarching government strategy to improve support for children, young people and families, focusing on the most disadvantaged. It takes the form of additional funding allocated to schools on the basis of the numbers of children entitled to free school meals (FSM) and children who have been looked after in public care. The expectation is that this additional funding will be used to support actions which improve the outcomes and life chances of pupils experiencing disadvantage. A distinctive feature of Pupil Premium is that schools have been given the autonomy to decide how the funding is spent, on the grounds that they are in the best position to know which pupils are likely to benefit most, and what kinds of provision will make a difference for these pupils.
This paper looks at our government funded research investigating how schools (primary, secondary and special) spent Pupil Premium funds (and future plans), how they decided to spend the Pupil Premium, differences in spending patterns between schools with different characteristics, and school perceptions of the impact of Pupil Premium funding so far. The research focuses on the findings from 30 case study schools (primary, secondary and special) across England. The schools varied widely, for example in whether the populations were predominantly advantaged or disadvantaged, in the ethnic composition, in the average pupil achievement and in geographical location.
Cummings, Dyson & Todd (2011) Beyond the School Gates: Can full service and extended schools overcome disadvantage? London: Routledge. For further information, go to http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415548755/
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