Closing the gap in primary schools

Learn how to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils in your school. Find out how to identify barriers to learning, select targeted interventions based on evidence, and how to evaluate your progress.

Last reviewed on 1 March 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: PrimaryRef: 6543
  1. Identify barriers to learning
  2. Pick a strategy based on evidence
  3. Effective strategies from successful schools
  4. Implement your strategy
  5. Monitor and evaluate success

Identify barriers to learning

Use your pupil premium wisely

When working to close the attainment gap, it's not about how much you spend, but how you spend it. Running interventions can be costly, but there's no direct link between schools with a larger income and a low attainment gap.

Be creative when picking a strategy. If you have a good understanding of what the particular barrier is for a pupil, you might be able to find an easy, cost-effective solution. For example, if a pupil is always late for school, an intervention as simple as buying that pupil an alarm clock might be highly effective.

Find out more about how you can spend the pupil premium.

Instead of grouping pupils into categories such as those with special educational needs (SEN), those receiving free school meals (FSM), or pupils with English as an additional language (EAL), try to understand what

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.