Pupil Premium for Looked after Children: Its Allocation, Use and Impact on Educational Outcomes for Children Aged 5-12

PhD Thesis

Taylor, B. 2022. Pupil Premium for Looked after Children: Its Allocation, Use and Impact on Educational Outcomes for Children Aged 5-12. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Education and Communities https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8q6qz
AuthorsTaylor, B.
TypePhD Thesis

Looked after children (LAC) in England achieve less well than their non-looked after peers and as such they receive pupil premium plus funding. This study explores what is an under researched topic: how the pupil premium plus is used to support educational outcomes of LAC, with specific foci on professionals’ planning processes, the supports and interventions funded using pupil premium plus, and how the impact of the funding is tracked and monitored.
Focussing on key stages one and two (ages five to twelve), this study employed a qualitative evaluative case study of two local authorities and employed semi-structured interviews with 20 professionals: ten designated LAC teachers, eight social workers, and two virtual school heads. Document analysis was also used to analyse 20 school pupil premium strategies. Taking a social justice perspective, Humanism (Rogers, 1967), Social Pedagogy (Cameron and Moss, 2011; Stephens, 2013; Cameron, 2018) and Critical Pedagogy (Freire, 1968) were used collectively as a theoretical tool to analyse the data with the focus on planning, using and monitoring the pupil premium plus.
The research demonstrated that the pupil premium plus is valued by professionals and seen as an important, supportive tool, going beyond the academic to include social and emotional interventions and curriculum enrichment. Importantly, colleagues using the funding were committed and caring individuals who know their young people well and want them to succeed. Participants identified some challenges around logistics and bureaucracy, and it was evident that it was not always easy to demonstrate impact of the pupil premium plus. Because of the diverse and complex needs of some LAC it is debatable whether the pupil premium plus is sufficient to make up for disadvantages linked to prior experiences. This research argues that policy makers should rethink the purely attainment focus of the policy and enable schools to employ longer term interventions. It also recommends that professionals explore ways of measuring the impact of pupil premium plus on different educational outcomes, and that a blend of individual and whole class interventions should be employed via the pupil premium plus.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8q6qz
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Publication dates
Online25 Mar 2022
Publication process dates
SubmittedSep 2021
Deposited25 Mar 2022
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