School reopening: how to help disadvantaged pupils catch up

School closures are likely to reverse progress made to narrow the attainment gap in the last decade, and the gap could widen by up to 75%. Find out what evidence-based measures you can take, and how to spend your pupil premium funding, to mitigate this and reduce the gap in your school.

Last reviewed on 10 November 2020
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 40599
Contents
  1. School closure will have widened the disadvantage gap
  2. Provide sustained, targeted support for catch-up
  3. Boost the usual procedures you have in place to tackle absence 

School closure will have widened the disadvantage gap

The EEF predicts that school closures will have widened the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, likely wiping out progress made to narrow the gap since 2011. Estimates for the gap widening range from 11% to 75%.

However, there are 2 key things you can do:

  1. Deliver effective remote learning – the EEF suggests that this'll reduce how much the gap widens (and will benefit all pupils)
  2. Provide sustained, targeted support – helping disadvantaged pupils catch up when they've returned to school (use your pupil premium or the Coronavirus: additional funding for your school for this)

Provide sustained, targeted support for catch-up

For your disadvantaged pupils in school, put in place support that is:

  • Sustained: long-term without interruptions, not a "quick-fix"
  • Targeted: specific interventions targeted to filling specific gaps in learning, for the pupils who need them 

Assess lost learning,