Do you understand the barriers to learning that poverty creates in your school’s community? Doctoral researcher and teacher, Sean Harris, reflects on some of the lessons he has learned as a school leader, researcher and as somebody who has experienced poverty himself

Fresh out of a leadership development programme and into senior leadership, I was convinced that if I had unwavering moral purpose then I would be able to turn the tide on socio-economic disadvantage. It turns out that the complexity of poverty in schools needs a little more than this to overcome.

Beyond the Pupil Premium champion

In my first week as a senior leader, I recall an executive headteacher introducing me as the “Pupil Premium Champion”, explaining that the performance of disadvantaged pupils was my sole responsibility.

I should have strutted out in Spiderman spandex and told the entire school community that “with great power, comes great responsibility”. I might have had more impact.

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