Best Practice

Key stage 3: Effective use of the Pupil Premium

Continuing his focus on key stage 3, Matt Bromley considers how the Pupil Premium can be used to maximise progress during these crucial years, what Ofsted inspectors expect to see in this context, and some self-evaluation questions

In Ofsted’s 2015 report, Key Stage 3: The Wasted Years? it was suggested, among other areas, that schools are not using Pupil Premium funding effectively to close gaps quickly in years 7, 8 and 9.

The Pupil Premium is money given to schools to help disadvantaged pupils. Ofsted said that while schools prioritise their Pupil Premium spending in key stage 4, they do not use the funding effectively in key stage 3 to ensure that gaps between disadvantaged pupils and their peers continue to close following transition to secondary school.

However, this is a vicious cycle because if you focus your time and resources in key stage 4, and thus neglect key stage 3, then the gap will widen in the intervening years and that time and money will be needed simply to compensate for ineffective practice in the earlier phase of secondary education.

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