Westminster Education Forum

Maximising the pupil premium to raise attainment - the use of funding, evidence-based research, and developing a whole-school approach

Morning, Wednesday, 12th February 2020

Central London


This seminar will assess the impact of the pupil premium in narrowing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and fellow-students, and strategies for maximising its effectiveness and use within schools.

Those attending will examine how schools are currently using the Pupil Premium, and strategies for maximising its benefit.

It comes with government encouraging schools to transition from full annual reviews to a 3-year strategy - in order to save time, and to allow schools to look longer term and to coordinate their plans with wider school improvement.

The discussion also takes place in the context of pressure on schools to demonstrate that pupil premium funding is making a difference in the attainment of underprivileged pupils - and with suggestions that some schools are using it to plug budget gaps rather than to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils.

Delegates will look at whether schools should take a more holistic and whole school approach to pupil premium spending - with a focus on the quality of teaching throughout a school - and how this can be achieved. It comes with concerns raised by Ofsted that some schools are using funding indiscriminately and on ineffective individual lessons.

Further sessions consider how schools can best transition to the new three-year strategy mode.

We expect discussion on how such strategies can most effectively include partnerships with schools, charities, and others to develop programmes of support for pupils in receipt of pupil premium funding.

Those attending will look at how to put in place key suggested components of an effective pupil premium strategy, such as:

  • using an evidence-based approach to identify the main barriers to learning for pupil premium students;
  • the ways in which schools can put in place effective interventions when pupil progress slows;
  • training and support for teachers; and
  • how to engage parents.  

The agenda will also consider the role of pupil premium champions in forming and delivering the individual school’s approach to implementing the funding.

There will be discussion on how champions can effectively coordinate with school governors responsible for the oversight of Pupil Premium spending to examine what has been effective in a schools approach.

Keynote Speaker

Senior speaker confirmed from the Department for Education

Keynote Speakers

Justin Madders MP

Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility

Senior speaker confirmed from the Department for Education


Stephen Twigg MP

chair, International Development Select Committee

Wera Hobhouse MP

Climate Change, Environment and Transport spokesperson, Liberal Democrats (subject to parliamentary commitments)


Daniel Sobel

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Inclusion Expert; Author and Speaker

Michael Lynch

Headteacher, Springfield Junior School

Marc Rowland

Head, Rosendale Research School and Author

Rachel Waddington

Chair of Governors, Gisburn Road School, Lancashire