Best Practice

Crafting your curriculum with poverty in mind

Poverty is an ever-present challenge in our schools and there are important links to our curriculum. Sean Harris, a teacher and post-doctoral researcher investigating poverty in schools, offers practical ways in which we can recalibrate our curriculum with poverty in mind

“Pupils are not at risk of underachievement because of any particular label, such as Pupil Premium. Rather, it is because of the impact of socio-economic disadvantage on their learning.”
Marc Rowland, 2021

The P word

Poverty provokes emotion. It is complex. It means disadvantage in many different ways and all of this has been made more complex by the on-going challenges of Covid-19.

It is the disadvantaged pupils who are going to need support to make more progress and it is important that teachers and school leaders have a shared understanding of what poverty means in relation to their setting.

Pupil Premium data may be a starting point, but we need to look beyond this as a measure of poverty and what we mean when we refer to disadvantaged pupils. Indeed, researchers have highlighted the limitations of using Pupil Premium as a core proxy for identifying and responding to socio-economic disadvantage in schools (Gorard, 2014; Holloway et al, 2012; Noden & West, 2009; Montacute & Cullinane, 2021).

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