Our award came the same week as a study published by the Department for Education found that over half (52%) of secondary schools and a third (33%) of primary schools had used the toolkit. These echoed the findings of a survey by the Sutton Trust. Several thousand schools have now used our guide. To get such widespread take-up during a period of increasing autonomy for state schools in England is an incredible achievement. And all this has been done without the weight of Whitehall behind it. In fact, the tale of the toolkit is an example of how success can blossom outside Government. This is the story of opportunistic policy making, academic bravery, and the success of an independent body established by Government to work alongside it, not within it. The idea of a guide to help teachers spend their money more effectively first came when the Pupil Premium was being mooted before the 2010 Election. For the newly formed Coalition the Pupil Premium was, and remains, the Government’s flagship policy for improving the outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. Our argument was simple: how the billions of pounds would actually be spent by schools would be critical to its success. In […]

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